Texas Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Project Follow-Up

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Texas Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Project follow-up – Andy Vasquez, Associate Commissioner, Quality and Program Improvement, Health and Human Services Commission: Mr. Vasquez presented a short PowerPoint summarizing next steps for the project. The emphasis currently is on project goal #3: foster collaboration between Texas state health agencies and newborn care stakeholders. The project has yielded preliminary findings that provide good data and clearer questions. Further, the study is addressed in recent and forthcoming publications, including Medical Care and soon a peer-reviewed article in Pediatrics. Another point was that the Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers is the Texas QC collaborative. This had apparently previously been unclear, and Mr. Vasquez made sure to clarify in the Council meeting.

Going forward, the project aims to use a steering committee to evaluate research ideas, to evaluate recommendations from the committee, and to evaluate other research requests. The steering committee can assist the transition from research to production mode. It’s important to remember the project goal which is effective and efficient newborn care and more broadly, maternal care.

As Mr. Vasquez takes questions, particularly on the project findings, he reminds Council members that the findings are preliminary. Council members express frustration with the number of overlapping councils and committees and urge the creation of a unifying or central group to leverage efforts.

A number of Council members assert that the data that the study used – some refer to it as administrative data, others call it claim data – presents problems. Specifically, the obstetrics variables are “inaccurate” and are not to be used to make decisions or changes to care. Further, the validity and accuracy of data used to score and compare outcomes is not sound. Some solutions include doing the study without relying on administrative data and/or make improvements to vital statistics and birth records. Ensure that hospital staff complete records correctly. A Texas database is needed though funding is lacking.


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