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Campaign Leverages HIT to Improve Care for Neonates

HealthLeaders Media Staff, February 16, 2011

Critics backed, in part, by research published recently in PLoS Medicineand the Archives of Internal Medicine, have raised questions about the benefits of health information technology. But one program suggests that -- if deployed correctly and on a large enough scale -- HIT can improve care and perhaps help bend the cost curve.

The 100,000 Babies Campaign, launched in 2009, is a national clinical quality initiative designed by Pediatrix Medical Group physicians. The goal is to improve neonatal outcomes nationally by incorporating continuous quality improvement practices.

The core is Pediatrix’s Clinical Data Warehouse (CDW), which houses clinical information from 900 neonatologists who care for approximately 20 percent of U.S.-born premature babies. Patient information is de-identified and then used to assess treatment outcomes, develop strategies to improve care and promote meaningful changes in clinical practices. Pediatrix physicians document the care they provide by capturing, in realtime, a consistent set of information about their NICU patients using an electronic health record system.  

The 100,000 Babies Campaign, which is being carried out in more than 125 U.S. NICUs, targets five areas: enhancing nutrition (increasing the use of breast milk); improving medication use; reducing central-line infections; minimizing mechanical ventilation to lower rates of chronic lung disease; and reducing suboptimal admission temperatures.

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