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Do data definitions in the NICU and HRIF Databases change? How does this happen?

In the spirit of continuous quality improvement, we are constantly considering changes to the NICU and HRIF Databases, adding new variables, renaming or redefining existing items to stay up to date with evolving care standards, or removing variables that are no longer needed. To minimize confusion, the changes are only pushed to the databases once a year, on January 1st.

Let’s use 2019 as an example. Below is how we would go about making changes to the NICU Database for babies born in calendar year 2019. Changes to the HRIF Database follow a similar process. 

  • Summer 2017 - Starting when the changes for the 2018 calendar year are finalized, the NICU Data Center team begins keeping track of possible changes for 2019.
  • January – April 2018 – The Data Center team begins clarifying suggested changes, determining new variable names, and discussing the nuances of data definitions (for example, what tests/limits define a hypoglycemic infant?).
  • May 2018 – The Data Center Advisory Group (DCAG) and Data Committee (DC) meet to discuss possible changes to the data, considering how the changes will affect members and data contacts, and the value of the changes from a quality improvement and research perspective.
  • Summer 2018 – The list of changes for the 2019 year are finalized. The NICU Data Center team begins updating the NICU Database Manual to reflect these changes.  Our developer begins to implement the changes on the back end of the database (this does not affect data for the current year).
  • October 2018 – CPQCC staff holds face-to-face data training sessions for members on database changes for the upcoming year.
  • December 2018 – The updated 2019 NICU Database Manual is posted on the CPQCC website.
  • January 2019 – The changes to the database for babies born in 2019 go live.

Does my NICU need to be CCS-approved in order to become a CPQCC member?

No, your NICU does not need to be CCS-approved in order to become a CPQCC member. However, as a CPQCC member, we will automatically generate a CCS Annual Report for your NICU. This report can be used to acquire CCS accreditation for your NICU.

What is the difference between the NICU Database and the All NICU Admissions Database? Are they the same thing?

No. In December 2017, we began offering our members the ability to track all infants admitted into their NICU through the optional All NICU Admissions Database. This database is separate from the main NICU Database. All babies admitted to the NICU, for any reason, are eligible for entry into the All NICU Admissions Database; unlike the main NICU Database for which there are criteria for entry

How are the annual membership fees determined?

CPQCC uses a tiered fee structure. Tiers are determined based on a hospital’s average total NICU admissions over the past three years. Membership fees are lowest for hospitals in the bottom quintile for total NICU admissions (in comparison to the rest of the network) and highest for those in the upper two quintiles. The tiers take into account all admissions to the NICU and are not based solely on the number of infants that are eligible for entry into our NICU Database.

For more information, please review the Fee Information Sheet posted on the Becoming a Member page. 

My NICU does not treat very many VLBW infants. Is there any value in joining CPQCC?

Yes! While our NICU Database does contain information on “Small Babies” (those born between 22 weeks, 0 days of gestation and 31 weeks, 6 days of gestation or with a birth weight between 401-1,500 grams) we also collect information on “Big Babies,” or those with birth weights greater than 1,500 grams who were born at or beyond 32 weeks gestation. For a Big Baby to be eligible for entry into the database, they must either have been born at your hospital or have been transferred in within 28 days of their birth. In addition, they must have been admitted into the NICU or cared for by the NICU service team and meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Death
  2. Acute transport into your NICU
  3. Acute transport out of your NICU
  4. Nasal IMV/SIMV (or any other form of non-intubated assisted ventilation) for greater than four continuous hours
  5. Intubated assisted ventilation for greater than four continuous hours
  6. Early bacterial sepsis
  7. Major surgery requiring anesthesia
  8. Previously discharged home and then readmitted for a total serum bilirubin of greater than or equal to 25 mg/dl (427 micromols/liter) and/or exchange transfusion. Babies readmitted for hyperbilirubinemia are eligible whether they are readmitted directly to the NICU or elsewhere in the hospital.
  9. Suspected encephalopathy or perinatal asphyxia
  10. Active therapeutic hypothermia
  11. Seizures (Babies born in 2019 or later)

For more information on eligibility criteria, please visit the NICU Database page.