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Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative

Homeward Bound Initiative

Homeward Bound Initiative

Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) families are often overwhelmed by the discharge process. Their anxiety can inhibit learning and contribute to poor infant outcomes and increased healthcare utilization after discharge. The quality of the discharge preparation is the strongest predictor of discharge readiness, so NICUs must develop excellent discharge preparation programs.

Comprehensive discharge preparation for new parents of fragile special-needs newborns is invaluable. It includes educating, equipping, addressing health-related social needs, and arranging necessary infant healthcare and support services. This leads to efficient NICU discharge, improved caregiver satisfaction, and better family-centered care.

Homeward Bound is FPQC’s next NICU quality improvement initiative and will launch in October 2023. The initiative will focus on promoting the successful discharge and transition of the NICU baby to home by focusing on three Key Drivers:

  1. Family engagement and preparedness
  2. Health Related Social Needs (HRSN)
  3. Transfer and coordination of care

Homeward Bound was developed based on recently published interdisciplinary guidelines on NICU discharge preparation and transition planning. The initiative’s programs, trainings, materials, and data tracking will be available in a toolkit form with an accompanying toolbox for our initiative hospitals.