The APN Role in the Development of an Interdisciplinary Neonatal QI Team

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 11:20 AM

Patricia Newell-Helfant, RN, MS, CPNP
Women's and Children's Services, St. Peter's Hospital, Albany, NY

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe the role of the APN in the development of a Newnatal QI committee in a community hospital.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe the benefits of a Neonatal QI team in a healthcare system.


The neonatal population (< 28 days of life) has some of the most stringent federal/state regulations and mandates seen in our healthcare system today.  This begins prior to delivery and can extend up to 28 days of life. This Advance Practice Nurse (APN) was challenged to lead an interdisciplinary team to ensure that all mandates and regulations were standardized and met throughout the continuum of care within our healthcare system not just within our perinatal unit. 


The interdisciplinary team comprised of RNs, respiratory therapists, physicians, pharmacists, and leadership from the Women’s and Children’s division, outpatient and the Emergency Department met every quarter throughout the year.  The goal of this committee was to share best practices, implement standardized patient care and utilize national and state benchmarks to safeguard our neonates throughout the continuum.  


The result of this quality improvement initiative has improved both medical and nursing management of the neonate. The NICU staff responds to all emergencies surrounding neonatal care throughout the hospital. The Neonatal Emergency Drug Box was created to simplify care in emergency situations. With 50% of neonates admitted from the ED, placing neonatal experts at the point of care has resulted in a rapid response averting delays in care for this high risk, low volume population.      


This approach to quality care has been well received by all members of the interdisciplinary team as all have the same goal: to provide safe and evidence-based care to our neonatal population. Lessons learned from this APN initiative include implementing national guidelines, reducing complications associated with delay in care and increased collaboration both inside and outside of the perinatal division.