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After days, weeks or months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), families can be overwhelmed by the discharge preparation and the transition to home. Literature supports that inadequate preparation for discharge from the NICU increases family anxiety, risk for hospital readmission and emergency room visits, as well as infant care issues at home such as feeding difficulty. This quality improvement project was identified to improve and enhance discharge readiness in the NICU.

The project started with the development of a discharge readiness committee. After reviewing the literature, the committee met to identify areas in need of improvement which included improving communication of discharge plan, family/caregiver preparedness, completion of education before day of discharge and nursing documentation of completed education. Initial actions items incorporated the initiation of weekly interdisciplinary health team rounds, development of a standardized discharge teaching tool, inclusion of requested circumcision awareness in OB morning huddle, creation of a badge backer to include a QR code for easy access to required discharge videos, and identification/education of necessary educational documentation required within first 24-48 hours of admission in NICU.

The committee plans to measure length of stay, parent satisfaction and documentation of education to determine the impact of the identified action items. The goal of this quality improvement project is for families to be feel supported during their NICU journey and prepared for discharge well before the discharge day, resulting in increased patient satisfaction, decreased length of stay and decrease nursing workload on the day of discharge.

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Sarah Kiley, RN, MSN; Megan Adams, RN; Jennifer Pacheco-Leyva, RN; Paula Sedita, RN; Brooke Swinton, RN; Michele Wells, RN

Rochester Regional Health, SANDS NICU

NICU Discharge Readiness