iNICQ: Internet-Based Newborn Improvement Collaborative for Quality

About the QI Collaborative

VON’s Internet-based Newborn Improvement Collaborative for Quality (iNICQ) brings teams together to use local and collective data to guide improvement on a designated topic. Participating centers are supported with access to expert faculty, VON measurement and reporting, and an interactive online toolkit of evidence-based practices. Participation in the collaborative is a benefit of Quality Circle membership.

Information for 2025

Teams will select an area of focus, which could include:

  • Reduce Pain & Pokes
  • Bundling Care to Reduce IVH
  • Neuroprotective Lung Strategies
  • Promote Positive Sensory Experiences & Relationships
  • Health Equity & Follow Through
  • Parental Wellbeing & Mental Health
  • Optimizing Care for Neonatal Encephalopathy
  • Optimizing Neurodevelopment for Infants with BPD

Learn more about iNICQ All Care is Brain Care for 2025 during informational webinars – July 10, 2024 for current teams and July 24, 2024 for new teams. Webinar registration information coming soon.

All Care is Brain Care: 2023-2026

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.

Discover How Your Center Can Benefit from All Care is Brain Care

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

Interested in participating? Get in touch.

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.

VON QI Results

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.

Our Focus in 2024

Webinar topics for 2024 include:

  • Optimizing Nutrition
  • Environmental Care
  • Precision Care
  • Perioperative Care and Neuroprotection
  • Pain: Prevention, Minimization, and Management
  • Respiratory Care
  • Acquired Brain Injuries
  • Positioning and Handling
  • Protecting Skin
  • Families as Neuroprotectors

To help teams, including new centers for 2024, accelerate their improvement project, we have curated lessons from the first year of “All Care is Brain Care.” On the program pages, new members can click into lessons including:

  • Family Partnership (Faculty: Marybeth Fry and Kristi Magida)
  • Families as Super Neuroprotectors (Faculty: Elizabeth Rogers and Paige Church)
  • Communicating Neurological Prognosis with Families (Faculty: Sonia Bonifacio, Elizabeth Rogers, Betsy Pilon, Monica Lemon)
  • Positioning and Handling (Faculty: Sonia Bonifacio, Bobbi Pineda, Katie Knudsen)
  • Skin to Skin: A Culture of Families (Faculty: Elizabeth Rogers, Courtney Brubaker)
  • Building a Culture Where All Care is Brain Care (Faculty: Sonia Bonifacio, Elizabeth Rogers, Mary Coughlin, Erick Ridout)
  • Equitable Care Throughout (Faculty: Sonia Bonifacio, Elizabeth Rogers, Marybeth Fry)
  • Preventing Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH) (Faculty: Roger Soll)
  • Quality Improvement Interventions and IVH in Preterm Infants (Faculty: Erika Edwards, Elizabeth Rogers)

iNICQ Features

The iNICQ improvement collaborative is a benefit of Quality Circle membership. Specific features of iNICQ include:

  • Interactive topic-specific toolkit
  • Live webinar series
  • Spotlight modules to jumpstart improvement on specific topics
  • Community Forum and dedicated listserv to communicate with expert faculty and peers
  • Online classroom, including recorded webinars accessible any time for CE credit
  • VON Day Audits to provide baseline gap analysis and track progress over time
  • Education for QI fundamentals for entire interdisciplinary team
  • Improvement stories from teams applying QI and Experience-Based Co-Design methodologies
  • Faculty review of improvement posters
  • Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 4 credits for entire physician team
  • CME/CNE, for an unlimited number of team members

How the Improvement Collaborative Works

Participating teams:

  • Review their VON data;
  • Identify opportunities to improve neuroprotective care;
  • Apply structured quality improvement in partnership with families and colleagues at other centers;
    • Custom interactive toolkits include evidence-based potentially better practices and change ideas (we consider practices potentially better because they must be tested and adapted to each center’s unique context)
    • VON Day Audits support center-level benchmarking and provide metrics to measure the improvement of the collaborative as a whole;
    • Webinars and regular communications support teams with education and examples that can be applied to their improvement focus;
  • Achieve measurable improvement in health outcomes, family experience, and local organizational priorities.


We will be happy to address any questions you have about Quality Circle membership or the iNICQ collaborative. Please contact Pam Ford, iNICQ Program Coordinator:

iNICQ participation is included in Quality Circle membership

Cost and Enrollment

iNICQ participation is a benefit of Quality Circle Membership.

Quality Circle Annual Fee: $7,500

Group and health system pricing is available.

Please contact Pam Ford, iNICQ Program Coordinator, with questions or for more information:

Interested in “iNICQ: All Care is Brain Care”? Please let us know through this form and we’ll be in touch.

Interested in committing further for collaborative improvement in critical transitions? Enroll in the NICQ program and engage a team in iNICQ for no extra cost.