The Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Consortium (CHNC) improves care for high risk infants by providing a platform to compare quality and outcomes across Level IV neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
The Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Consortium
Improving intensive care for infants at Children’s Hospitals
The Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Consortium (CHNC) formed in 2006 and partnered with the Child Health Corporation of America (now Children’s Hospital Association (CHA)) to develop the Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Database (CHND). Since its launch in 2010, the CHND has grown from a collaborative of 17 member institutions to 34 participating sites in 2017. The CHND recently transitioned from CHA to a new registry partner, Velos Inc., to launch a new platform in 2017.
CHND was developed to meet the data acquisition and analytics required for comparative quality and outcome measures for the unique population of medically complex neonates and infants treated in NICUs (Level IV NICU patients) at children’s hospitals. Many of these high acuity infants have surgical problems, congenital anomalies or serious acquired complications of preterm birth. With an average 25-day length of stay and the multiple services they require after discharge, these infants represent one of the highest resource utilization groups of any pediatric population. CHND is the largest clinically valid data set for this unique patient population.
CHND is the largest clinically valid data set for this unique patient population. In addition to clinical outcomes, CHND records have been linked to PHIS (CHA’s administrative dataset) to analyze cost variation for disease-specific patient populations. These linked analyses can provide patients, providers, and organizations with comparative data on both clinical outcomes and resource utilization in these medically complex infants.
In the current era when the population health of medically complex infants is a focus for our hospitals, the value of delivered health care must be assessed as the US spends approximately 20% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. NICU patients in Children’s Hospitals represent only 7-8% of the patient population for these hospitals, but because of their complex care needs and long length of stay, with respect to resource utilization, this patient population represents 23% of the patient days and 21% of the charges of a Children’s Hospital. Therefore it is imperative that we invest and apply in key clinical resources like CHND that marry pediatric outcomes to measures of resource utilization captured both with the CHND and in other datasets in order to improve the quality of care and optimize expenditures in the care of medically complex children.