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Title A Survey of Neonatal Parenteral Nutrition Design Practices in North Carolina
Author(s) Porcelli, Peter
Source Journal of Perinatology, Vol. 24, No. 3, Pages 137-142
Publication Date March, 2004
Abstract BACKGROUND: Parenteral nutrition is an important component of postnatal hospital care for very-low-birth-weight infants (VLBW; birth weight 1500 g). Designing and preparing parenteral nutrition for VLBW infants is a complicated process requiring many nutrition decisions and mathematical computations, a process most medical centers have developed independently. The goal of this project was to examine the nutrition design practices and resources of regional neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). METHODS: In depth interviews were conducted with neonatal nutrition health-care providers at eight medium to large NICUs in North Carolina to describe the patient population, the nutrition support staff, nutrition decision-making procedures and resources, the design of parenteral nutrition, and problems with parenteral nutrition design and preparation. RESULTS: The eight centers reported an average of 182 VLBW infant admissions and prepared 4810 parenteral nutrition orders per year. Five centers employed experienced neonatal nutrition staff to offer decision support. Six centers used paper parenteral nutrition order forms, all of which provided some decision guidance such as a recommended ordering dose range. Self-reported medical mistakes included incorrect parenteral nutrition additive dilutions and incorrect supplementation of parenteral nutrition additives. CONCLUSIONS: Most NICUs offered nutrition resource personnel and used paper parenteral nutrition order forms, which offered a wide range of decision guidance. About half the reported medical errors could be addressed using electronic parenteral nutrition design; however, a broader, more general approach to the entire design and administration system would reduce more errors. Last, as development of electronic neonatal nutrition resources in the clinical arena progresses, standards for recording neonatal nutrition content, and evaluating the effect of decision support need to be identified.

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