Membership FAQs

Why should my hospital join Vermont Oxford Network?

More than 1,300 neonatal intensive care units around the world submit data to Vermont Oxford Network (VON) with a shared goal of improving the quality, safety, and value of care for newborn infants and their families. Our interactive reporting tools for on-the-ground use in neonatal care supports member quality improvement initiatives.

More than 750 teams have participated in VON quality improvement collaboratives and data-driven, action-oriented education that results in measurable improvements in health outcomes.

Centers join our community to contribute to – and benefit from – vast, ongoing improvement in newborn care.


What are VON membership options?

Core and Quality Circle membership allows all staff at the member center to access VON tools, resources, and programs. Teams can also join NICQ, which is a two-year project-based enhanced Quality Circle membership.

Core members contribute to databases and receive extensive reporting with regional and international benchmarks to target clinical practices and patient outcomes. Core members can opt to participate in the Vermont Oxford Rady Children’s Genomic Network and genomic biorepository, and have access to additional QI resources.

Quality Circle members can participate in an active QI collaborative (iNICQ) and access additional educational courses open to all staff at the member center. Quality Circle members have all benefits of Core membership with additional resources and opportunities to participate in VON programs.

NICQ is our most intense learning lab QI collaborative. Teams participating in NICQ commit to participating in focused small groups for two years. NICQ teams are Quality Circle members with access to additional resources in support of their QI initiatives.


What is the cost to join Vermont Oxford Network?

The cost of Core membership depends on which database your center will participate in.

The annual fee for the Very Low Birth Weight Database is $6,700.

The annual fee for the Expanded Database (all NICU admissions) is based on number of hospital beds.

  • Hospitals with fewer than 250 staffed beds: $6,700.
  • Hospitals with 250-500 beds: $8,300.
  • Children’s hospitals and hospitals with more than 500 beds: $9,900.

The Quality Circle annual membership fee is the Core fee + $7,500.

The membership fee for NICQ is $25,000/year + the Core fee.

Groups of hospitals can participate in the databases and/or quality improvement programs at special rates.


What benefits are included in Core membership?

  • Participation in and access to the Vermont Oxford Network databases
  • Access to VON data comparison groups to benchmark performance against the entire Network and your NICU type
  • Data collection and reporting tools for an unlimited number of users affiliated with your center
  • Personal member services provided by a VON Account Manager
  • Participation in the Vermont Oxford Rady Children’s Genomic Network, including educational programs and biorepository
  • Videos and improvement stories available in the VON Improvement Library, and other educational events to support quality improvement at your center
  • Subscription to the Your VON newsletter
  • Online Community Forum for discussions about VON-specific, clinical, and QI topics
  • Opportunities to volunteer in global health initiatives in low income countries in support of a worldwide community of practice


What are the benefits of Quality Circle membership?

All the benefits of Core membership, plus:

  • Current iNICQ: Internet-based Newborn Improvement Collaborative for Quality (webinars, interactive toolkit, online discussions, and other benefits)
  • QI Foundations course for entire multidisciplinary staff
  • Responding to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome online course
  • Benchmarking measurement (VON Day Audits)
  • All Improvement Library resources
  • Community Forum for general and QI collaborative related discussions
  • “Quality Circle Member” recognition and publicity packet
  • CME/CNE/CPE/MOC Part 4


What are the benefits of participating in NICQ?

All benefits of Core and Quality Circle membership, plus:

  • Homeroom of 8-10 teams working on similar projects
  • Homeroom-dedicated faculty teams
  • Interactive electronic toolkit supporting evidence-based QI
  • Data transparency and custom VON data reports
  • Basic and advanced QI methods training
  • Community Forum and dedicated listservs to facilitate discussion
  • Onsite, in-person meetings


What are Vermont Oxford Network’s expectations of members?

Vermont Oxford Network expects our database members to collect and enter data in a timely fashion to meet deadlines for data submission. In order to participate in all of Vermont Oxford Network’s offerings, database members will need to actively involve their IT staff in planning and integration for both online and locally installed applications and services.
Participation in other programs may carry additional requirements.

Staff at your center will fill key roles, including:

  • VON Services Administrator(s): Responsible for ensuring staff members at your center have access to applicable Vermont Oxford Network (VON) tools and websites.
  • Team Leader: Serves as your center’s primary advocate for data science and quality improvement and encourages your center’s staff to fully utilize VON information and tools
  • Report Contact: Receives VON reports and is responsible for sharing findings with applicable team members at your center.
  • Data Contact:  Responsible for collection and submission of all infant data to VON
  • Financial Contact: Handles VON membership agreements and ensures membership payment
  • Neonatologist: Answers medical questions from your center’s Data Collector pertaining to the VON data definitions and distributes information about VON work to relevant team members at the center.
  • VON Champion: Responsible for helping team members navigate online education and training tools and resources

See full descriptions of VON roles.


What other hospitals are members?

To see the most up to date list of current Vermont Oxford Network members, visit our membership list.


What types of reporting will I receive as a member?

An important benefit of membership in Vermont Oxford Network is the feedback members receive through the network’s confidential, customized reports. The reports document patient characteristics, treatment practices, morbidity, mortality, and length of stay at each center. They also track performance over time, comparing each center’s performance with its performance in previous years, with that of the network as a whole, and with subgroups of similar centers.
Reports include:

  • Nightingale Internet Reporting System, which offers members comprehensive historical and up-to-date information on patient demographics, outcomes, and interventions, including:
    • Discharge date-based reporting
    • An online tool to track transfer data
    • Birth Outcomes Tool to calculate probability of survival for infants born extremely preterm.
  • Annual Reports
  • Quarterly Reports
  • Network Database Summaries
  • Optional reporting for groups at an additional fee


How do I submit data?

Vermont Oxford Network produces data collection and submission software, eNICQ, which is provided to all member centers as a benefit of membership. Members are encouraged to use eNICQ as it helps ensure the accurate entry and submission of data to the VON Databases. For more information on the submitting data to VON please visit our database pages.


Does VON accept FHIR data?

To help streamline data submission and support interoperability with members, VON has become an HL7 Gold Member. We are working within best practices for interoperability to accept FHIR data with centers that have EHRs with FHIR endpoints.


How is my data secured?

Vermont Oxford Network takes the safety and integrity of data in our care very seriously. For over 30 years we have been entrusted as the stewards of data collected by our members and have never had a breach or loss of data. Staff members at your center will be designated as Web Services Administrators who will assign and revoke access to VON’s online tools for users at your center. Your center also controls who has access to the local eNICQ application used to collect and transmit data to VON. For more information about eNICQ’s technical specifications and security features please visit the eNICQ page.


Is VON HIPAA compliant?

Vermont Oxford Network is fully HIPAA compliant. VON does not generally accept protected health information (PHI) from member centers unless the member centers have both voluntarily elected to send this information in addition to the standard de-identified Vermont Oxford Network dataset and have signed an appropriate Business Associate Agreement.


What kind of support will I receive from Vermont Oxford Network?

Each VON center is assigned an Account Manager to assist in data collection and processing and to help navigate VON services. Program coordinators support the operations of collaboratives and our online learning managers support access to courses and continuing education credits. Quality Circle collaboratives are further supported by a diverse faculty of clinical and quality improvement experts and family partners. We also facilitate collaboration among centers through our Community Forum and Annual Quality Congress.

A Technical Support team is also available to assist with integration issues involving the use of VON software tools and websites.
In addition VON provides:

  • eNICQ data entry and submission software
  • Electronic Data Submission options
  • Electronic data interface options for hospital EHRs
  • Online data management tools
  • Manuals of Operations
  • Video tutorials
  • Training webinars


What services are available for groups (states, countries, health systems, physician management groups, etc.)?

Vermont Oxford Network offers opportunities for reporting and quality improvement projects for centers working together in geographically or administratively based groups including state, regional, or international improvement collaboratives, health care systems, and hospital alliances. For more information on offerings for groups please visit our Group Services page.


What services are available for centers in low and middle income countries?

The VON Global Neonatal Database was created in partnership with colleagues in low and lower income countries. It currently serves to support quality improvement in the Ethiopian Neonatal Network. We also offer scholarships and discounts to colleagues and centers in low and middle income countries.


Can I publish VON data?

Please visit our Policy on Data Use to find out more about requirements before publishing VON data. For more information about collaborative research with Vermont Oxford Network, please review the Policy and Guidelines for Collaborative Research Using the Vermont Oxford Network Databases.


How can I learn more?

Contact for more information or to set up a demo today.

VON offers three membership tiers and basic access.