Center of Excellence in NAS Care Designation

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Published on June 15, 2016

Concord Hospital-The Family Place Receives the 2016 Center of Excellence in Education and Training for Infants and Families Impacted by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome


Opioid use in pregnant women has escalated dramatically resulting in a corresponding rise in the number of newborn infants who develop severe signs of opioid withdrawal, a condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Infants with NAS have higher rates of neonatal complications and prolonged lengths of hospital stay. Extended hospitalizations are a serious burden for the complex and socially fragile families we serve, and may interfere with ongoing maternal treatment for substance use disorder. NAS also imposes a growing financial burden on already strained healthcare resources, locally, regionally and nationally; disproportionately affecting state Medicaid expenditures.

Quality improvement programs, focused on standardizing care, have the potential to both improve the quality and safety of care, but also to decrease unnecessary length of stay and associated costs, and to improve the patient and family experience of care. To provide comprehensive, trauma-informed care to this population, creating deep engagement and partnership in care, and safe transitions to the community, is a laudable goal for every hospital and health system in the U.S. and beyond.

Center of Excellence in NAS Care Designation

In 2015, Concord Hospital-The Family Place enrolled in a national multi-center quality improvement collaborative sponsored by Vermont Oxford Network. This collaborative, titled iNICQ 2015: A Universal Training Solution Improving Outcomes for Infants and Families Affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) engaged 110 centers from around the United States in improving the quality, safety and value of care for substance-exposed infants and their families. Centers participated in a series of live webinars, developed structured improvement programs, audited their local practice outcomes and benchmarked with others.

Additionally, participating centers were encouraged to implement a standardized education and training program for their healthcare team and when possible, to strive to become a Center of Excellence in NAS Education and Training. This designation is awarded to centers who successfully train at least 85 percent of their designated care team, using a novel online learning platform to complete 17 critical learning lessons.

Vermont Oxford Network is pleased to announce that Concord Hospital-The Family Place has successfully met the goal of standardized universal education and training for NAS, and as such has received the following designation:

Vermont Oxford Network
2016 Center of Excellence in Education and Training
For Substance-Exposed Infants and Their Families

Concord Hospital-The Family Place trained a total of 74 interdisciplinary healthcare providers, representing 89 percent of their designated care team. This designation represents an exceptional commitment to interdisciplinary education and service for an important, vulnerable population.

VON LogoVermont Oxford Network (VON) is a nonprofit voluntary collaboration of health care professionals working together as an interdisciplinary community to change the landscape of neonatal care. The Vermont Oxford Network Databases currently enroll approximately 90 percent of the VLBW infants born in the US each year. Our community of practice includes nearly 1,000 centers around the globe that voluntarily submit data concerning the care and outcomes of high-risk newborn infants. Vermont Oxford Network serves as a neutral, independent party in analyzing data for our member centers and facilitating voluntary benchmarking activities. The Databases are used to provide comprehensive, confidential reports that serve NICU teams dedicated to improving the quality, safety and value of care for at-risk neonates and their families. Our membership currently includes over 265 international member centers, in addition to our U.S. partners.

In addition to the data registry, for the past 10 years VON has been providing large-scale multi-center quality improvement collaborative and has engaged over 500 teams from around the world in improving the quality, safety and value of care for newborns and their families. Increasingly, VON is building programs and services to support quality of care for all newborns, not just those requiring NICU care. We currently have teams working in affinity groups (home rooms) on a variety of focused topics including optimizing outcomes for the micro-premature infant, optimizing brain care, minimizing lung injury, teams and teamwork, optimizing care for the surgical neonate, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and choosing antibiotics wisely. Our educational reach includes large-scale webinars, attracting 2,000+ neonatal healthcare providers and families, as well as a robust on-line learning community, which encourages knowledge dissemination using social networking and learning engagement tools.

Media Contact

Public Affairs
Concord Hospital
250 Pleasant St.
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 227-7000, ext. 4215