In the spirit of continuous quality improvement, CPQCC has begun recognizing NICUs and HRIF Clinics which have improved the timeliness of their referrals of eligible high-risk infants to follow-up care. During last year's data finalization process, we noticed that some centers were referring infants to HRIF anywhere between 6-12 months after the patient was discharged home.
Delays in referral increase the risk that the center may be unable to locate the family and may result in the infant missing the first two recommended follow-up visits (typically conducted at 4-8 months and 12-16 months). CPQCC recommends that eligible infants be referred to HRIF within two months of being discharged from the NICU.
To motivate centers to improve the speed of their referrals, CPQCC has begun sending quarterly reminders to all member NICUs and HRIF Clinics about the importance of timely referrals and awarding centers who meet the within two months of discharge recommendation with the Suprise Award, which is granted to centers for positive performance in different areas year to year. 40% of centers have now met the timely referral recommendation for VLBW infants born in 2018.