“Overusing antibiotics can cause many issues,” pharmacist Bill Renfro said. “It’s important to see how we measure against other NICUs, and look at long-term results.”
Other practices supporting antibiotic use and length of stay goals include the use of donor breast milk, and education of nurses, staff and patient families about medication use and quality procedures.
One quality improvement recently initiated in the NICU involves scheduled coordination by nursing staff and providers to limit disruptions for the babies. Clustering important duties, such as diaper changing, changing IV lines, drawing blood and administering medications, can be done within the same time block.
“Cluster care has enabled the nursing staff to better control the therapeutic environment for the babies,” said Mark Yeoman, a NICU nurse. “It reduces the stress caused by multiple interruptions.”
Patient quality — even for the tiniest patients — is an important measurement for all providers and staff at UF Health Jacksonville. For the dedicated neonatologists and NICU providers, advancements in technology, research and best practices improve the health and experience for not just their patients, but the patients’ families as well.