Quality Improvement at VON

VON QI Collaboratives: All Care is Brain Care

As neonatology has substantially improved survival rates over the years, it is more important than ever to do what we can to ensure infants and families have their best start to life beyond the NICU. To do so, we must safeguard an especially vulnerable and important organ: the brain.

Through our Newborn Improvement Collaborative for Quality (NICQ) and the internet-based NICQ (iNICQ), teams are aiming to improve clinical care and long-term outcomes by approaching all aspects of newborn care through a neuroprotective lens. By exploring evidence, pursuing data-driven QI, and implementing better practices, these VON teams can ensure that all care we provide benefits the developing brain.

The focus of “All Care is Brain Care” will last from 2023-2026. Centers are invited to join as VON Quality Circle members to participate in iNICQ, and can involve a team in the more intensive NICQ program, which runs on two-year cycles, for an additional fee.


Why Focus on Brain Care?

While we continue to improve neonatal survival rates, we cannot do so at the expense of or without a clear focus on our ability to safeguard the full potential of each infant.

All care we provide must consider an especially vulnerable and important organ: the developing brain.

By exploring evidence and implementing better practices, we can ensure that all care we provide benefits the brain.

All Care is Brain Care Program Structure

With the aim to prevent injury, protect normal maturation and development, and promote positive experiences and relationships, we support teams with:

  • potentially better practices/change ideas and clinical examples
  • measurement plans and reporting
  • foundational QI resources
  • consultation and collaboration with care experts and other teams

Why Approach Brain Care with VON?

More than 700 teams participating in VON QI for over 25 years have demonstrated remarkable improvements in clinical outcomes, substantial cost savings, and progress in addressing disparities and promoting family-centered care.

Improvement in VON collaboratives is data-driven (with audits conducted by VON), and based in evidence. Our approach to quality improvement encompasses the entire care team, including parents, and is based on foundational principles that teams have found effective in sustaining improvement.

2023 Webinar Schedule

  • January 25, 2023: All Care is Brain Care – Project Initiation
  • February 15, 2023: Families as Neuroprotectors
  • April 26, 2023: Positioning and Handling and Protecting Skin
  • June 28, 2023: Teamwork and Culture Change
  • September 27, 2023: Acquired Brain Injuries
  • December 13, 2023: Equitable Care Throughout

VON Collaboratives: iNICQ and NICQ

Teams participating in iNICQ and/or NICQ are part of the VON Quality Circle.

iNICQ: QI Collaborative bringing teams together to use local and collective data to guide improvement on a topic designated on a year-to-year basis.

NICQ: QI Collaborative in designated homerooms (8-10 centers) working on similar projects and collaborating on a focused area of improvement in two-year cycles.

iNICQ: Internet-Based Newborn Improvement Collaborative for Quality

Live webinars, interactive toolkits, measurement audits, and collaboration support improving care for the developing brain. Complete this form to join as a Quality Circle member and participate in iNICQ, or contact Pam Ford, Program Coordinator, for more information.

See iNICQ Details

NICQ: Newborn Improvement Collaborative for Quality

Small groups, custom measurement, and enhanced collaboration support improvement of focused projects in this two-year program. To join NICQ or request more information, contact Sonia Darrow, VON QI & Education Program Assistant, at sdarrow@vtoxford.org.

See NICQ Details

Additional Resources

Please use the resources below to learn more about All Care is Brain Care and how the project can improve care at your center.

About VON Membership