Quality improvement initiatives in neonatal intensive care unit networks: achievements and challenges

Acad Pediatr. 2013 Nov-Dec;13(6 Suppl):S75-83. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2013.04.014.


Neonatal intensive care unit networks that encompass regions, states, and even entire countries offer the perfect platform for implementing continuous quality improvement initiatives to advance the health care provided to vulnerable neonates. Through cycles of identification and implementation of best available evidence, benchmarking, and feedback of outcomes, combined with mutual collaborative learning through a network of providers, the performance of health care systems and neonatal outcomes can be improved. We use examples of successful neonatal networks from across North America to explore continuous quality improvement in the neonatal intensive care unit, including the rationale for the formation of neonatal networks, the role of networks in continuous quality improvement, quality improvement methods and outcomes, and barriers to and facilitators of quality improvement.

Keywords: continuous quality improvement; health care research networks; neonatal intensive care units; neonatology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Networks
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Critical Care / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality / trends*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Neonatology / methods*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Total Quality Management
  • United States