Intervention Protocol and Training Reduced Hospital Stay for Babies With NAS

Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study found that the length of stay was reduced by 50% following staff training in the assessment of symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome along with implementation of standardized intervention protocols.

Hospital stays for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) were cut in half due to standardized protocols to monitor symptoms and treatment, according to the results of a small quality improvement project.

Training in the assessment of NAS symptoms and a standardized methadone and morphine protocol reduced average length of stay for infants with NAS from 36 days to 18 days over a 5-year period, reported Lindsey Asti, MPH, of Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, and colleagues. Average length of stay fell from 36 to 31 days in 2009, 27 days in 2010 and 2011, and 18 days in 2012, following updates to the protocols and retraining of the staff, they wrote in Pediatrics.

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