Improving Critical Transitions

High-quality transitions are critical to improving clinical outcomes.

Family consultation

Transitions impact our care for every infant and family.

Join VON's iNICQ collaborative to learn, share, and improve together.

Teams in this internet-based quality improvement collaborative use QI fundamentals to focus on the key drivers of:

  • Teamwork
  • Families as Partners
  • Communication
  • Standardized Processes

Our goal is to achieve transitions that are safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, patient- and family-centered, and socially and environmentally responsible.

Register Your Center

Participating Teams Improve Clinical Outcomes and Family Experiences

About 100 posters showing improved clinical outcomes and family experiences in critical transitions were presented by teams participating in this collaborative during the 2019 Annual Quality Congress.

2020 Webinar Schedule and Topics

January 8
Kick-off and Orientation

February 12
Quality Improvement |  Role of standardization on your improvement journey
Clinical Application: Decreasing NICU admissions due to hypothermia

*February (TBD)
Experience-Based Co-Design Community | Introduction to EBCD process

March 11
Families as Partners | Creating a culture to engage families as partners
Clinical Application: Families engaged in or leading rounds

April (TBD)
Experience-Based Co-Design | Practicalities for getting started and review of discernment exercise

*April (TBD)
Critical Transitions | Topic-focused small group learning, sharing, and coaching
Clinical Application: Clinical transitions in, out, handoffs and other transitions

*May (TBD)
Experience-Based Co-Design Community | Deeper dive into “discovery” phase

May 20
Teamwork | Developing shared mental models
Clinical Application: Delivery room resuscitation and transport into NICU

June 17
Quality Improvement |  Optimizing quality improvement reporting
Clinical Application: Unplanned extubation

July 8
Families as Partners | Developmental touch points supporting follow up and follow through
Clinical Application: Developmental assessment as transition from the NICU is planned

*July (TBD)
Experience-Based Co-Design Community | Making sense of discovery phase and moving into analysis phase

September 2
Teamwork | Advanced shared mental models
Clinical Application: Clinical situational awareness of NICU

*September (TBD)
Experience-Based Co-Design Community | Digging into the co-design phase

October (TBD)
Experience-Based Co-Design | Lessons from early adopters

*October (TBD)
Critical Transitions | Topic-focused small group learning, sharing, and coaching
Clinical Application: Clinical transitions in, out, handoffs and other transitions

November 6
Annual Quality Congress | Face-to-face collaborative meeting with faculty and team improvement projects

* Sessions are faculty-facilitated communities of learning on smaller group webinars. Teams can attend any or all.

Benefits of Participation

Participation in VON’s critical transitions internet-based quality improvement collaborative includes:

  • Toolkits outlining key evidence, potentially better practices, and change ideas for transitions in and out of the NICU, including admission, discharge and handoffs
  • Dedicated listserv to communicate with expert faculty and your peers
  • Online classroom, including recorded webinars accessible any time for CE credit
  • Six webinars focused on select key drivers and their application to clinical scenarios, along with QI foundations
  • Additional smaller group webinars on transition-specific topics. Attend any or all.
  • QI Foundations course to advance QI knowledge for entire interdisciplinary team
  • Curriculum and guidance over six webinars to implement Experience-Based Co-Design (EBCD) with families and clinicians
  • Improvement stories from teams applying QI and EBCD methodologies to critical transitions
  • Live full-day event at VON’s Annual Quality Congress with peer-to-peer learning
  • Complimentary Annual Quality Congress registration for 4 clinical team members, 2 senior leaders, and all parent partners
  • VON Days Audits to provide baseline gap analysis and to track progress over time
  • Additional measurement for teamwork and families as partners
  • Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 4 credits for entire physician team
  • CME, CNE, CPE for an unlimited number of team members

Experience-Based Co-Design (EBCD) and Families as Partners

Family partnership is a key driver to improving critical transitions.

Participating teams have the support of faculty and resources from the Point of Care Foundation to learn and implement EBCD improvement methodology in the care of infants and families.

See how a participating team incorporated EBCD
Faculty on webinar


VON’s faculty of world experts in neonatal care, quality improvement, teamwork, families as partners, and implementation science will guide and motivate teams as they work through a structured curriculum to advance improvement of critical transitions.


Faculty Bios


Fee for participation is $7,500 annually.

A 20% discount is granted to Level III NICUs enrolling as a member of a statewide group, regional quality improvement collaborative, or health system-wide enrollment. Recruit Level I and Level II hospitals to engage in your efforts with a nominal registration fee of $500 per center.

Achieving STEEEPS Transitions

The Institute of Medicine report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century is the source of the STEEEP (safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, patient- and family-centered) components. VON added the “social and environmentally responsible” criteria to this collaborative’s global aim.

NICU team making rounds

Quality Improvement at VON

Dedicated to continuous improvement

More than 700 teams in VON quality improvement collaboratives have accelerated improvement for the entire neonatal community of practice.

Teams learn how to use data to inform improvement plans that lead to measurable results, which are presented at the VON Annual Quality Congress and elsewhere.

The QI methodologies that teams become proficient in through hands-on work in VON collaboratives inform improvement in other areas of their work with infants and families in the NICU and other care settings.

The most successful teams integrate parents into the improvement teams and partner with families to advance family-integrated care.

Ultimately, participation in VON quality improvement gives teams the tools, guidance, and momentum they need to sustain continuous improvement.

Learn more about VON quality improvement