What are four ways to support NICU parents during the discharge planning process?
- Provide discharge teaching in parents’ native language using a qualified interpreter if necessary.
- Make sure parents have opportunities to learn and to demonstrate competence in all care procedures necessary for their baby.
- Provide parents with a written list of all follow-up appointments made for their baby, including appointments with a primary care physician, any subspecialists, and/or developmental follow-up clinic.
- Encourage parents to room in overnight with their baby prior to discharge in order to gain confidence with their handling of the baby.
Recommendations for Post-Discharge Support: Read just the recommendations from the Workgroup on Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents, or read the full article from the December, 2015 Supplement to Journal of Perinatology.
Bibliography on Post-Discharge and Follow-up Support: This contains a comprehensive listing of references on post-discharge and follow-up support, compiled by the National Perinatal Association Workgroup on Recommendations for Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents.
Coping With Transition From NICU to Home: Helpful hints for parents about getting ready for baby to come home, by Sue Hall MD
Bibliography on Long-Term Consequences of Parenting a High-Risk Infant: References on health and mental health outcomes in parents who care for preemies, special needs children or technology-dependent children at home.
Baby Steps to Home: A Guide to Prepare NICU Parents for Home, developed by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.
Follow-up Care of High-Risk Infants: This was the first attempt to make standardized guidelines for follow-up care of high-risk infants; published in Pediatrics in 2004.
Patient- and Family-Centered Care Coordination: This article contains a list of recommendations from American Academy of Pediatrics about best practices in use of the patient- and family-centered medical home.
HomVEE_Executive_Summary_2015: Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness Review: Executive Summary, published September, 2015. This paper reviews the home visiting research literature.
Screening for Perinatal Depression, ACOG: Women are at risk for Depression up until 12 months after delivery; this provides recommendations for screening.
Transitioning Newborns from NICU to Home: A Resource Toolkit, developed by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Hospital Discharge of the High-Risk Neonate, AAP Policy Statement, 2008.
Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting, from the Health Resources and Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A toolkit on Transitioning Newborns from NICU to Home, created through collaborative efforts and partnerships among teams of investigators working on the “Safe Passages” project at Baylor College of Medicine and several other hospitals.
NICU Needs Assessment for Discharge Planning, also created by same group as above.
Family Information Packet, from the same group as above, with information on finding a pediatrician, and tips on health insurance for parents.
Nurse Family Partnership, an organization that focuses on home visiting programs
ZERO TO THREE is a national, nonprofit organization that provides parents, professionals and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development.
Are you interested in having someone speak to your staff, organization, or network about best practices in post-discharge and follow-up support? Click on the icon to go to our Speaker’s Bureau page to learn more about these speakers.
Jenene Craig, PhD, OTR/L, occupational therapist
Erika Goyer, National Perinatal Association, Family Advocacy