OBJECTIVE. The goal was to test the effectiveness of a statewide, collaborative, hospital-based quality-improvement project targeting preventive services delivered to healthy newborns during the birth hospitalization.

METHODS. All Vermont hospitals with obstetric services participated. The quality-improvement collaborative (intervention) was based on the Breakthrough Series Collaborative model. Targeted preventive services included hepatitis B immunization; assessment of breastfeeding; assessment of risk of hyperbilirubinemia; performance of metabolic and hearing screens; assessment of and counseling on tobacco smoke exposure, infant sleep position, car safety seat fit, and exposure to domestic violence; and planning for outpatient follow-up care. The effect of the intervention was assessed at the end of an 18-month period. Preintervention and postintervention chart audits were conducted by using a random sample of 30 newborn medical charts per audit for each participating hospital.

RESULTS. Documented rates of assessment improved for breastfeeding adequacy (49% vs 81%), risk for hyperbilirubinemia (14% vs 23%), infant sleep position (13% vs 56%), and car safety seat fit (42% vs 71%). Documented rates of counseling improved for tobacco smoke exposure (23% vs 53%) and car safety seat fit (38% vs 75%). Performance of hearing screens also improved (74% vs 97%). No significant changes were noted in performance of hepatitis B immunization (45% vs 30%) or metabolic screens (98% vs 98%), assessment of tobacco smoke exposure (53% vs 67%), counseling on sleep position (46% vs 68%), assessment of exposure to domestic violence (27% vs 36%), or planning for outpatient follow-up care (80% vs 71%). All hospitals demonstrated preintervention versus postintervention improvement of ≥20% in ≥1 newborn preventive service.

CONCLUSIONS. A statewide, hospital-based quality-improvement project targeting hospital staff members and community physicians was effective in improving documented newborn preventive services during the birth hospitalization.

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