Implementation of an evidence-based policy and educational program on caring for neonates withdrawing from opioids: a quality improvement project
Olson, Amy JoAnn
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The opioid use among pregnant women has increased, which has led to a rise in the rate of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Infants with NAS are delivered at rural and urban locations throughout the country and require specialized treatment. The rural community access hospitals (CAH) often lack the resources (policy development and education updates) to prepare health care team members for safe care of infants that present with NAS. The purpose of this project was to improve team member confidence when providing care for neonates suspected of substance withdrawal at a CAH in Montana by: (a) developing and implementing a policy on care and treatment of a drug dependent newborn; (b) educating the team providing care to these neonates on the use of NAS scoring tools; and (c) evaluating the education and improved confidence levels of the health care team. A pretest/posttest design was used to evaluate change in nursing knowledge on NAS/scoring tools. The results suggest implementation of a NAS educational program including education regarding the implementation of a corresponding evidence-based policy, has a statistically significant effect on provider and nurse knowledge and confidence about NAS. Specifically, the results suggest NAS education improved provider/nurse knowledge and confidence in caring for neonates affected by NAS.