RD366 - Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative

Executive Summary:

The 2022 Appropriation Act from the General Assembly authorized $124,470 from the general fund and $82,980 from non-general funds for a fifth year. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) maintains a Memorandum of Understanding with Virginia Commonwealth University Children’s Hospital to administer a Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PQC) and conduct the work of the PQC. In 2019, the Virginia General Assembly appropriated an additional annual allocation of $315,000 to address health disparities and inequities in maternal health across the Commonwealth. The Act mandated that the Perinatal Quality Collaborative shall work to improve pregnancy outcomes for women and newborns by advancing evidence-based clinical practices and processes through continuous quality improvement with an initial focus on pregnant women with substance use disorder and infants impacted by neonatal abstinence syndrome (Appendix A).

Since the establishment of the Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative (VNPC) in 2017, the statewide collaborative quickly attracted interest from hospital systems, health care professionals, professional organizations, state agencies, and community stakeholders and partners that have a mission to improve outcomes for mothers and babies across the Commonwealth. In FY21, the VNPC selected three initial quality improvement (QI) projects: (1) reduce the use of inpatient intravenous antibiotics at hospital nurseries/newborn intensive care units (NICUs); (2) decrease the rate of severe maternal morbidity attributable to obstetric hemorrhage; and (3) care coordination from delivery to the post-partum visit and then transition to annual women’s health, also known as the fourth trimester. The VNPC is committed to including each of the 52 birth hospitals across the Commonwealth in these quality improvement projects, which will be implemented throughout FY22.

 The VNPC experienced a number of successes since its inception due to the commitment of community partners and stakeholders, healthcare professionals from various organizations, and state agencies coming together and working toward shared goals and visions, as well as continuous funding from the General Assembly to sustain ongoing efforts. Though not a legislative reporting requirement, this report summarizes VNPC current projects, ongoing efforts and fifth year accomplishments. Details regarding prior year activities, as well as the evolution of the VNPC, are outlined in previous VDH annual reports on the General Assembly's Legislative Information System website.