Nurse-Family Partnership Launches New Digital Platform to Amplify Program’s Impact

A mother enrolled in Nurse-Family Partnership enters in a goal on the Goal Mama app with her Nurse-Family Partnership nurse. Photo courtesy of Nurse-Family Partnership.

Proven Public Health Program Uses Innovative Technology to Strengthen Nurse Connection and Help Moms Achieve Their Goals

Nurse-Family Partnership ®, (NFP) a national program serving first-time moms and their children living in poverty, has launched a new mobile goal-setting platform, called Goal Mama, to support improved health and life outcomes for moms and their babies. This is the first app of its kind for a home visiting program and was developed exclusively for Nurse-Family Partnership moms. The HIPAA-compliant app and nurse dashboard was co-designed with Hopelab, a social innovation lab, and developed on Empower, the behavioral-science based software platform from Ayogo

The Goal Mama app builds upon the trusted relationship between a mom and her NFP nurse to improve her engagement in the program – throughout pregnancy and through her child’s second birthday. Nurse-Family Partnership worked closely with moms and nurses to gain insights as to how to amplify the program’s impact. Smart phone use among the age group served by NFP is almost ubiquitous, and research has shown that the majority of NFP moms use smart phones. Moms enrolled in Nurse-Family Partnership frequently use their mobile devices to help them stay organized and are most engaged when their nurses are helping them reach their personal goals. The digital connection created through the Goal Mama app strengthens the partnership between mom and nurse and enhances their work together, potentially improving program retention and boosting a young mom’s confidence in setting and achieving her goals. 

“We listened to our moms and nurses to design an innovative tool that would best help moms reach their personal goals,” said Frank Daidone, president and CEO of Nurse-Family Partnership. “Nurse-Family Partnership is driven by innovation and science to best support today’s moms – always meeting them where they are. Goal Mama puts a new tool in our moms’ hands to empower them to be successful. Hopelab and Ayogo helped us to bring these big ideas to life.” 

The mobile app provides a digital platform for moms to set short- and long-term goals – creating steps, tracking progress and sending reminder notifications to help moms stay focused towards a path of success. Nurse-Family Partnership moms decide what goals they want to enter in Goal Mama – everything from eating healthy to getting a driver’s license to obtaining baby’s immunizations on time to finishing high school to staying sober. Nurses are then able to see the moms’ progress using an accompanying nurse dashboard, which they can also use to send encouragements and shout outs to celebrate the mom’s success. 

Nurse-Family Partnership partnered with Hopelab – a social innovation lab that designs science-based technology to improve the health and well-being of teens and adults – to identify how technology could boost the impact of the program. 

“Nurse-Family Partnership is a truly life changing program that emphasizes the importance of the deep human connection between a mom and her nurse and is committed to developing scientific evidence,” said Margaret Laws, president and CEO of Hopelab. “It has been a privilege to work alongside them to bring technology to the program in a way that enhances and amplifies this human connection while keeping it fresh and relevant for digital native moms.” 

Nurse-Family Partnership also collaborated with Ayogo – a behavioral-science based software developer – to create the mobile app and digital components for both moms and nurses on Ayogo’s Empower platform. 

“We believe that understanding and addressing the psychosocial aspects of care, and the need for supportive emotional connection in particular, is essential to improving health for these new moms and moms-to-be,” said Michael Fergusson, CEO of Ayogo. “There’s no better example of this than Goal Mama, and we’re proud it runs on the Empower platform.”

A pilot study of Goal Mama at five Nurse-Family Partnership sites tested its efficacy and provided information to improve the app. Positive feedback from moms and nurses showed how they could integrate use of the app into their regular home visits. These insights were later incorporated into the current version of Goal Mama being rolled out to Nurse-Family Partnership sites. 

In May, Goal Mama was introduced to 400 nurses in Texas and Pennsylvania and will continue to be shared with all Nurse-Family Partnership nurses in all 41 states through 2020. Nurses receive specialized training and support using the app and accompanying nurse dashboard from the NFP National Service Office.