Bronson's NICU Receives Advancing Safe Care Award

Published on June 28, 2018

Bronson's NICU Receives Michigan Health and Hospital Association's Advancing Safe Care Award

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and its antibiotic stewardship team at Bronson Children’s Hospital in Kalamazoo were recently honored with the inaugural Advancing Safe Care Award from the Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA).

The Advancing Safe Care Award recognizes healthcare teams within MHA-member hospitals who carry out four specific goals: lead the charge for quality

Antibiotic Stewardship teamNICU Antibiotic Stewardship Team

improvement; promote transparency to improve healthcare; achieve better outcomes due to a strong culture of safety; and demonstrate a commitment to providing quality care to diverse patient populations.

The 2018 award recognizes the team at Bronson Children’s Hospital for successfully leading a program to reduce antibiotic usage in infants hospitalized in the NICU without an increase in infections.

Over the past two years, the NICU antibiotic stewardship team at Bronson Children’s Hospital has developed a comprehensive approach to prevent unnecessary antibiotic exposure. It ensures each infant receives the correct antibiotics for the appropriate duration, while also educating families at the bedside.

Evidence suggests that widespread use of antibiotics for premature infants is not needed, and unnecessary antibiotic use can have harmful short- and long-term health effects. In addition, many infants receive antibiotics without evidence of an infection, which can adversely affect their health and cause future antibiotic resistance.

“We are extremely proud to be the first in the state to receive the Advancing Safe Care Award from MHA. Everyone on our NICU team and throughout the  hospital is driven to improve outcomes for infants, not only while they are in our care , but as they grow,” says Cheryl Knapp, vice president and chief quality officer at Bronson. “This honor shows our staff’s dedication to continuous improvement to ensure we are providing safe, effective, equitable, evidence-based care for every patient, every time.” 

The 2018 winning team includes Peg J. Malnight, MSN, RN; Andrea M. Scheurer, MD; Jamie McCune, RN; and Shannon McLogan, PharmD. The group credits Bronson’s leadership team, information technology staff and the entire NICU staff for their key contributions to making the program a success.

The goal of the antibiotic stewardship team was to decrease antibiotic usage by 10 percent, while keeping infections at bay. The team exceeded that goal reaching a 26 percent reduction, without an increase in infections since 2016. A new goal is to achieve another 10 percent decrease by December 2018.

The NICU celebrated 500 consecutive infection-free days in early May and is continuing to discharge a growing number of infants with very low birth weights who never needed to receive a single dose of antibiotics.

Watch this video to learn more about the winning team and its efforts to improve patient safety and quality in the NICU.