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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2012 May;51(5):454-61. doi: 10.1177/0009922811433036. Epub 2012 Jan 25.

Neonatal intensive care unit discharge preparedness: primary care implications.

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  • 1Department of Neonatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, BIDMC/Rose 318, Boston, MA 02215, USA.



To investigate specific post-neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) discharge outcomes and issues for families.


The authors prospectively surveyed family's discharge preparedness at the infant's NICU discharge. In the weeks after the infant was discharged, families were interviewed by telephone for self-reported utilization of health services as well as any infant-associated problems or issues.


At discharge, 35 of 287 (12%) families were "unprepared" as defined by a Likert response of less than 7 by either the family member or nursing assessment. Unprepared families were more likely to report that their pediatrician could not access the infant's NICU hospital discharge summary, problems with the infant's milk/formula, and an inability to obtain needed feeding supplies.


Although most of the families are "prepared" for discharge at the time of discharge, this study highlights several issues that primary care providers accepting care and NICU staff discharging infants/families should be aware.

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