Low prevalence of clinical decision support to calculate caloric and fluid intake for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit

J Perinatol. 2020 Mar;40(3):497-503. doi: 10.1038/s41372-019-0546-z. Epub 2019 Dec 9.


Background: Clinical decision support (CDS) improves nutrition delivery for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), however, the prevalence of CDS to support nutrition is unknown.

Methods: Online surveys, with telephone and email validation of responses, were administered to NICU clinicians in the Children's Hospital Neonatal Consortium (CHNC). We determined and compared the availability of CDS to calculate calories and fluid received in the prior 24 h, stratified by enteral and parenteral intake, using McNemar's test.

Results: Clinicians at all 34 CHNC hospitals responded with 98 of 108 (91%) surveys completed. NICUs have considerably less CDS to calculate enteral calories received than enteral fluid received (32% vs. 82%, p < 0.001) and less CDS to calculate parenteral calories received than parenteral fluid received (29% vs. 82%, p < 0.001).

Discussion: Most CHNC NICUs are unable to reliably and consistently monitor caloric intake delivered to critically ill infants at risk for growth failure.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Enteral Nutrition*
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Male
  • Neonatologists
  • North America
  • Parenteral Nutrition*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted*