NICU Quality & Safety

In the UVA Health Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), we care for newborn babies with medical needs. Many are born prematurely. Some are born with congenital heart defects that will require surgery. And some just need a little medical support for a few days. 

Whether they're with us for a few hours or a few months, we work to deliver the highest-quality care possible. But what does high quality mean? By tracking data tied to safety and excellent outcomes, we're able to continually improve on our past performance. We meet regularly to talk about this date, and to improve our care at delivery and beyond.  

We believe that sharing this information is also an important part of developing our team's focus on patient safety. To create transparency and accountability, we share that data with you. We hope this quality and safety data helps give you the information you need as you make medical decisions for your child. 

How We Measure Quality & Safety

We use data from objective, independent sources like the Vermont Oxford Network to compare the care we provide at UVA to the care other hospitals provide. The network is a group of doctors working together to improve neonatal care.

NICU Infections: Preventing infections is crucial for good outcomes. We look at healthcare-associated infections to see if there's more we could do for prevention. By comparing our data to NICUs around the nation, we're able to improve performance. 

NICU Respiratory Complications: Babies born prematurely or with heart problems are at risk of struggling with oxygen as well. We measure our rate of respiratory complications compared to other hospitals. 

NICU Discharge Data: Every parent looks forward to taking their child home from the NICU. But they also want to make sure their child is healthy and ready. We look at length of stay and breastfeeding success as measures of how well we supported families through their stay. 

Congenital Heart Defect Outcomes: While not a measure of our NICU's success explicitly, our heart program's success means the highest standard of care is available for our NICU patients. Many NICU patients have congenital heart defects, and being able to offer minimally invasive options for repair helps us get babies home sooner. 

NICU Quality & Safety

Learn why recording quality and safety measures is important and how UVA Health Children's is working to improve the quality of care our patients receive. View Transcript.

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