Needs assessment to improve neonatal intensive care in Mexico

Paediatr Int Child Health. 2015 Aug;35(3):213-9. doi: 10.1179/2046905515Y.0000000044. Epub 2015 Jul 1.


Background: At the time of the research, Dr Weiss was a clinical fellow in neonatal-perinatal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital. Dr Profit was on faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatology. He held a secondary appointment in the Department of Medicine, Section of Health Services Research and conducted his research at the VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence where he collaborated with Dr Kowalkowski.: Improving the quality of neonatal intensive care is an important health policy priority in Mexico. A formal assessment of barriers and priorities for quality improvement has not been undertaken.

Aim: To provide guidance to providers and policy makers with regard to addressing opportunities for better care delivery in Mexican neonatal intensive care units.

Objective: To conduct a needs assessment regarding improvement of quality of neonatal intensive care delivery in Mexico.

Methods: Spanish-language survey administered to a volunteer sample of Mexican neonatal care providers attending a large paediatric conference in Mexico in June 2011. Survey domains included institutional context of quality improvement, barriers, priorities, safety culture, and respondents' characteristics. Results were analysed using descriptive analyses of frequencies, proportions and percentage positive response (PPR) rates.

Results: Of 91 respondents, the majority identified neonatology as their primary specialty (n = 48, 65%) and were physicians (n = 55, 73%). Generally, providers expressed a desire to improve quality of care (PPR 69%) but reported notable deterrents. Respondents (n, %) identified family inability to pay (38, 48%), overcrowded work areas (38, 44%), insufficient financial reimbursement (25, 36%), lack of availability of nurses (26, 30%), ancillary staff (25, 29%), and subspecialists (22, 25%) as the principal barriers. Respiratory care (27, 39%)--reduction of mechanical ventilation and initiation of nasal continuous positive airway pressure--and reduction in frequency of late-onset infections (19, 28%) were selected as top clinical priorities. There were substantial opportunities for improving safety (PPR 48%) and teamwork climate (PPR 58%).

Conclusion: These findings may guide efforts to improving quality of care delivery in Mexican neonatal intensive care units.

Keywords: Mexico; Needs assessment,; Neonatal intensive care,; Quality improvement,; Safety culture,.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / methods*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / organization & administration*
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Quality of Health Care