About Us

What is Vermont Oxford Network?

Vermont Oxford Network (VON) is a nonprofit voluntary collaboration of health care professionals working together as an interdisciplinary community to change the landscape of neonatal care.

Founded in 1988, VON is now comprised of teams of health professionals representing neonatal intensive care units and level I and II care centers around the world, in support of our mission to improve the quality and safety of medical care for newborn infants and their families through a coordinated program of research, education, and quality improvement projects.

sherafgroup02Vermont Oxford Network offers data-driven, action-oriented learning for improving outcomes and increasing the quality, safety, and value of newborn care. We develop interactive reporting tools for on-the-ground use in neonatal care; we create defining curricula for and lead quality improvement collaboratives, engaging teams from centers around the world; and we direct outcomes research and clinical trials, turning data into actionable information that results in tangible improvements in outcomes. For more information, this Pediatrics article describes evidence-based quality improvement efforts at Vermont Oxford Network.

We invite the interdisciplinary team of newborn health care professionals at centers worldwide to become members and partners in our efforts, and to participate in these VON initiatives.

Vermont Oxford Network Databases

The Vermont Oxford Network Databases maintain data on very low birth weight infants and infants meeting other eligibility requirements. In 1989, 34 NICU teams began submitting data to the Network. Today, Vermont Oxford Network has evolved into a community of practice that includes over 1,000 centers around the globe that voluntarily submit data about the care and outcomes of high-risk newborn infants. The VON Databases hold critical information on more than 2.2 million infants, representing more than 67 million patient days. Vermont Oxford Network serves as a neutral, independent party in analyzing data for our member centers and facilitating voluntary benchmarking activities. The Databases are used to provide comprehensive, confidential member reporting that serve as a critical foundation for local quality improvement projects for participating centers.

Newborn Improvement Collaborative for Quality (NICQ)

Our defining NICQ quality improvement collaboratives bring interdisciplinary teams together for immersion learning through virtual and in-person activities, with a shared mission to continually improve the quality, safety, and value of newborn care. The “homeroom” structure allows teams to investigate and apply critical concepts and lessons for quality improvement with pro forma specific aims. Homeroom affinity groups are led by a team of expert faculty, including an experienced QI facilitator, clinical experts, a parent, and an onsite leader. Rolling admissions allow teams to join throughout the year.

Internet-based Newborn Improvement Collaborative for Quality (iNICQ)

Our multi-center, Internet-based quality improvement collaboratives address issues of emerging importance within the field. Two levels of participation, iNICQ Core and iNICQ Intensive, allow teams to choose the pace and depth of their learning.

Research and Trials

Vermont Oxford Network conducts pragmatic clinical trials that answer practical questions while providing early access to promising new therapies. The Network trials are modeled after the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in Oxford, England, which pioneered the use of large-scale trials that integrate research into daily practice. Member centers volunteer to participate in trials coordinated by VON. Additionally, Vermont Oxford Network scientific and statistical staff members partner with researchers internationally to use the VON Databases for outcomes and trends analyses that are published in peer-reviewed journals.

Global Health Initiatives

Since 2009, 23 medical professionals from the US have traveled to Ethiopia to volunteer at the Tikur Anbessa Hospital, the teaching hospital for Addis Ababa University. The Addis Ababa University / Vermont Oxford Network / Tikur Anbessa NICU Project teams provide bedside teaching and lectures to health professionals in training, supporting the work of local neonatologists.

 

Vermont Oxford Network disseminates the results of its work in VON publications, in peer-reviewed journals, in membership reports, and on this web site. Vermont Oxford Network also sponsors an Annual Quality Congress, open by registration to all interested health professionals.

We invite you to join this vibrant community of colleagues from around the world in our shared efforts to improve quality outcomes and identify emerging best practices in newborn care.