HFCH Earns Award for Antibiotic Stewardship Education in Newborn Care

Vermont Oxford Network (VON) has awarded the Center of Excellence in Education and Training for Antibiotic Stewardship in Newborn Care designation to the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital (HFCH) at Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH), a member of Mountain Health Network, Inc. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at HFCH is the first awarded this designation in the state of West Virginia out of more than 180 centers across the nation that participated in this quality improvement initiative. 

“We voluntarily participated in this program and as a result learned that we have excellent antibiotic stewardship,” said Eduardo Pino, MD, medical director for the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital. “We have a dedicated team of professionals who continually seek the next level in quality care for our littlest patients.”

In 2017, HFCH enrolled in Choosing Antibiotics Wisely, an international quality improvement collaborative developed by Vermont Oxford Network in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in newborn care. The award recognizes that at least 85 percent of the multidisciplinary care team participating in the improvement collaborative completed the educational bundle and submitted an abstract of improvement work to the VON Annual Quality Congress.

Antibiotic misuse and overuse is one of the healthcare community’s top concerns. Antibiotic misuse in the perinatal period can alter an infant’s microbiome for their entire life and decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics for the whole population.

In the Choosing Antibiotics Wisely improvement collaborative the HFCH team joined more than 180 other teams from newborn nurseries, birth centers and NICUs in 38 states and seven countries to employ proven quality improvement methods to implement processes, procedures, and tools aimed at using antibiotics more responsibly. The goal was to rapidly screen, identify, and treat infants who benefit from antibiotics while decreasing the antibiotic utilization rate for infants who did not need them.

“We are proud to be awarded this designation,” said Melanie Akers, director of the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital. “It signifies that we are the best of the best and that is what our patients and families expect.”

Centers participated in a series of live webinars, developed structured improvement programs, audited their local practice outcomes and benchmarked with others. VON’s evidence-based approach, audits, and coaching helped teams learn, measure, share, and improve antibiotic stewardship together in a collaborative environment.

“Congratulations to the entire team at Hoops Family Children’s Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital on this impressive accomplishment and for demonstrating sustained commitment to antibiotic stewardship,” said Jeffrey Horbar, MD, chief executive and scientific officer of VON.

As a global leader in data-driven quality improvement for newborn care, VON leads multi-center quality improvement collaboratives and provides resources to help interdisciplinary teams improve on the most critical and complex challenges facing newborn caregivers. The Choosing Antibiotics Wisely quality improvement collaborative formal activities ran 2016-2018 and teams continue to demonstrate improvement with a new commitment to reaching a 45% reduction in antibiotic use rates by 2022.