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Neonatal Netw. 1997 Oct;16(7):33-8.

Neonatal integrated home care: nursing without walls.

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Ronald McDonald Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153, USA.


A Neonatal Integrated Home Care Program was developed to cross-train NICU staff nurses to provide follow-up care for high-risk neonates in the home. Implementation required collaboration of the NICU and the Center for Home Care and Hospice. Initial target populations were premature infants in transition to oral feeds and oxygen-dependent neonates. Staff, parent, and insurer enthusiasm for this innovative program resulted in expansion to serve infants and families with many other care needs. Continuity of care provides an invaluable resource for families at home with their high-risk infants. Outcomes include reduction in NICU length of stay and readmission for this population. The NICU home care team shares experiences with staff, increasing awareness of and sensitivity to family strengths and discharge realities. The program has fostered revisions in practice regarding preparation for discharge and education of families, facilitating the transition to home following NICU hospitalization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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