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A Improving Birth-dose Hepatitis-B Vaccination in a Tertiary Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

BACKGROUND: Perinatal hepatitis B is a global public health concern. To reduce perinatal hepatitis B and its complications, the Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) is recommended by the New York State Department of Health and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices within 24 hours of life for infants born with a birth weight ≥2000 g. Infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) weighing over 2000 g missed their birth dose HBV frequently, which prompted the implementation of a quality improvement initiative to increase birth dose HBV immunization in a level IV NICU in New York.

METHODS: May 2019 to April 2021 baseline data showed the birth dose HBV rate of infants born ≥2000 g at 24% and 31% within 12 and 24 hours, respectively. The multidisciplinary QI team identified barriers using an Ishikawa cause-and-effect diagram. Our interventions included multidisciplinary collaboration, electronic medical record reminders, education, posters, and improved communication between staff and parents. We aimed to achieve a 25% improvement from the baseline.

RESULTS: After 19 months of QI interventions (four Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles), the rate of administering birth dose HBV within 12 hours of life increased from 24% to 56% and within 24 hours from 31% to 64%. Process measure compliance improved, exceeding the 25% target, and showed sustained improvement.

CONCLUSION: This QI initiative improved the rate of eligible infants receiving HBV within the first 24 hours of life in the NICU. This work can serve as a model for other healthcare institutions to improve HBV immunization rates in NICUs.

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