Improving Neonatal Follow-up: A Quality Improvement Study Analyzing In-hospital Interventions and Long-term Show Rates

Sandhya S. Brachio, Christiana Farkouh-Karoleski, Anketil Abreu, Annette Zygmunt, Oscar Purugganan, Donna Garey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Neonatal follow-up (NFU) clinics play an essential role in the multidisciplinary care of preterm patients. Despite the inherent value of NFU clinics, many clinical programs report poor compliance with follow-up visits. Preterm infants followed with difficulty in the long-term have higher rates of disability and lower IQ scores, even after adjustment of significant perinatal and sociodemographic variables. This quality improvement study aimed to improve the show rate for preterm infants from 60% to 80% at the initial 6-month adjusted age visit by implementing a multilevel education bundle. Methods: Participants included neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) physicians, physician extenders, registered nurses, and parents of preterm patients admitted to the NICU who qualified for NFU. Our 75-bed NICU is the regional perinatal center within an urban free-standing children's hospital. Our bundle included NICU provider education, discharge planning, and parent education. A tracking system was developed to identify qualifying patients to streamline workflow. Results: The monthly first visit show rate improved from 60% to 76% during the intervention period. Seventy-five percent of families who received parent education presented for their initial visit, compared to 51% of families who did not receive parent education. In anonymous surveys of families who presented for their initial visits, 95% indicated that bedside education played the most important role in appointment attendance. Interdisciplinary rounds are crucial for reaching all families before discharge. Conclusion: Implementing a multidimensional in-hospital education bundle and tracking system is feasible and can improve NFU clinic show rates, but may require dedicated personnel for sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E363
JournalPediatric Quality and Safety
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 23 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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