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Barriers to First-Week Follow-up of Newborns: Findings from Parent and Clinician Focus Groups

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Background: Monitoring newborns within the first week is critical to assess the adequacy of feeding and weight gain and to identify instances of hyperbilirubinemia. As systems of maternal and newborn care have become increasingly fragmented, infants are at increased risk of poor outcomes because of poor follow-up. Structured focus groups were conducted in June–July 2001 to provide information about the barriers to timely newborn follow-up and strategies to address them.

Methods: One focus group for physicians and one for nurses were held at the Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, and two focus groups of parents were recruited by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Dallas.

Results: Barriers were identified in communication and information, systems and processes of care, and parental knowledge and education. Concerns raised by clinicians and parents were consistent and complementary. Some organizations have begun implementing some of the suggested strategies to achieve timely follow-up.

Discussion: Implementing the AAP guideline and improving safe care in the first week of newborn life will require attention to linkages and transitions between these various microsystems.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-11-01

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