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Quality improvement for NICU graduates: Feasible, relevant, impactful.

CPQCC Publication
TitleQuality improvement for NICU graduates: Feasible, relevant, impactful.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsLitt JS, Hintz SR
JournalSemin Fetal Neonatal Med
Date Published2021 02
KeywordsHumans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Intensive Care Units, Neonatal, Neonatology, Parents, Quality Improvement, Quality of Health Care

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) has become a vital component of newborn medicine. Applying core principles - robust measurement, repeated small tests of change, collaborative learning through data sharing - have led to improvements in care quality, safety, and outcomes in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). High-risk infant follow-up programs (HRIF) have historically aided such quality improvement efforts by providing outcomes data about NICU interventions. Though as a discipline, HRIF has not universally embraced CQI for its own practice. In this review, we summarize the history of CQI in neonatology and applications of improvement science in healthcare and describe examples of CQI in HRIF. We identify the need for consensus on what defines 'high-risk' and constitutes meaningful outcomes. Last, we outline four areas for future investment: establishing evidence-based care delivery systems, standardizing outcomes and their measures, embracing a family-centered approach prioritizing parent goals, and developing professional standards of care for HRIF.

Alternate JournalSemin Fetal Neonatal Med
PubMed ID33589361