On September 27, 2013, the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative held its annual Infant Health Advisory Subcommittee meeting for Florida’s Level III and Level II NICUs. Because the meeting did not offer continuing medical education credits, we had expected a respectable but limited turn out from our most engaged stakeholders. However, the response to this meeting was almost twice than had been anticipated – demonstrating to us the breadth of willingness among our neonatal stakeholders to become more involved in FPQC quality improvement (QI) initiatives.
Over 70 representatives from 26 NICUs registered for this free gathering. These attendees traveled to USF’s College of Public Health from all over the state – ranging from Pensacola to Miami and representing northern, central and southern Florida. The physicians, nurses, administrators and other neonatal health-related practitioners came from a variety of medical cultures, including rural and urban NICUs as well as small and large NICUs (Level III licensed beds ranging from 5 to 62).
With such a diverse audience, the meeting served as an excellent platform for centers to network and to learn about what other centers currently are implementing as QI initiatives within their own facilities. Critical neonatal issues being addressed in specific centers include exclusive breast milk use in the NICU, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and hypothermia in newborns. Through a team building exercise, each center was able to list three areas in their field where they have found successes and three areas where they still see needs for improvement. By bringing all of the centers together for this exercise, centers with challenges in specific areas were able to connect with those that have made strides forward in those areas. This potential cross-learning and voluntary collaboration will be beneficial to all attendees as each center pursues new protocols for its most critical issues.
This team building exercise also helped our Infant Health Advisory Subcommittee gather a consensus from attendees on new initiatives to explore. By a majority vote, the Subcommittee established that the next three most pressing issues to be addressed are intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), nutrition and growth with a focus on exclusive breast milk/ adequate protein, and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Next steps will include finding a Lead Investigator for each initiative and individual teams of volunteers committed to determining whether each initiative is appropriate, feasible, engaging, measurable and supportable – characteristics necessary for a successful QI project.
In addition to this working session, presentations were given on the latest status of our current neonatal catheter associated blood stream infections (NCABSI) initiative, the upcoming launch of our new “Golden Hour Part I: Delivery Room Management” initiative, and the challenges and opportunities we will face with the Department of Health’s new task force on NAS. The full presentations can be found on the FPQC website under “Events: Infant Health Advisory Subcommittee” at http://health.usf.edu/publichealth/chiles/fpqc/events.htm.
The FPQC would like to thank all those who attended and contributed. Their input has been extremely valuable in sustaining our current QI initiatives and determining our next steps in improving the health outcomes of Florida’s infants. If you did not attend and would like to become more involved with the FPQC’s Infant Health Advisory Subcommittee or to learn more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By: Heidi K. Curran, MBA
Tags: Delivery Room Management, Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative, FPQC, Golden Hour, Heidi K. Curran, NAS, NCABSI, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, Neonatal catheter associated blood stream infections, NICU