OPQC Report: Ohio Infants Born Exposed to Opioids Having Better Health Outcomes

The Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative recently announced the results of a four-year initiative at 54 neonatal intensive care units in the state. The goal of the push was to standardize identification and treatment of opioid-exposed infants, reduce the use and length of treatment using opioids and reduce length of hospital stays.

During this initiative teams –composed of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, social workers and an addiction specialist—worked to collect treatment data from across the state and share best practices. Those best practices include identifying and counseling opioid-exposed women in a non-judgmental environment and promoting maternal involvement with opioid-exposed babies (i.e. swaddling, skin-to-skin care and reduced stimulation).

Over the four-year period more than 9,600 opioid-exposed infants were cared for.

Summary of results:
  • The proportion of infants that needed pharmacologic treatment declined from 48% to 42%, which translates to about 134 infants per year.
  • The length of pharmacologic treatment for participating infants decreased from 14.6 to 12.2. days.
  • The length of stay for infants requiring pharmacologic treatment declined from 18.2 to 16.2 days.
Based on those results, OPQC members have come to the following conclusions:
  • Following standard protocol and use of high caloric formula had a major impact on outcomes
  • In order to further address this issue, increased efforts are needed earlier on in an opioid-exposed pregnancy, for mom and baby during the fourth trimester, and in studying the long-term outcomes for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
One way the OPQC is working to address that second conclusion is through a quality improvement project called Maternal Opiate Medical Supports Plus (MOMS+). The collaborative is partnering with 28 obstetrical sites across the state to discuss the care of pregnant women with opioid use disorder.

The OPQC will be hosting six regional, half-day sessions on the topic in May and June.
  • 12:30-4:30 p.m., May 14, Athens. Registration closed.
  • 12:30-4:30 p.m., May 22, Dayton. Register here.
  • 12:30-4:30 p.m., May 23, Sylvania. Register here.
  • 12:30-4:30 p.m., May 30, Cincinnati. Register here.
  • 12:30-4:30 p.m., June 3, Cleveland. Register here.
  • 12:30-4:30 p.m., June 4, Columbus. Register here.
 Medication-assisted treatment providers are encouraged to attend.
Please contact OPQC Project Specialist Cole Jackson at cole.jackson@cchmc.org with questions.