HOPE and DREAM: A Two-Clinic NICU Follow-up Model

Am J Perinatol. 2023 Apr 17. doi: 10.1055/a-2053-7513. Online ahead of print.


Objective: The natural extension of inpatient-focused neonatal neurocritical care (NNCC) programs is the evaluation of long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes in the same patient population.

Clinical design: A dedicated and collaborative team of neonatologists, neonatal neurologists, neuropsychologists, neurosurgeons, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, and psychologists are necessary to provide personalized medicine, developmental assessments, and parental education for NNCC graduates. To achieve this goal, we devised a two-clinic follow-up model at Children's Wisconsin: HOPE (Healthy Outcomes Post-ICU Engagement) and DREAM: Developmentally Ready: Engagement for Achievement of Milestones) clinics. Those infants with significant neurologic diagnoses attend DREAM clinic, while all other high-risk neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) infants are seen in the HOPE clinic.

Conclusion: These clinic models allow for a targeted approach to post-NICU care, which has improved family engagement and perceptions of value.

Key points: · Infants with neurologic compromise are a specialized population with increasing survival.. · Interdisciplinary NICU follow-up brings together previously separated outpatient service lines.. · Our novel clinic model allows for specialized developmental assessments..