Purpose/Objective: The purpose of this project was to implement universal screening of all late preterm newborns for hyperbilirubinemia in a level I newborn nursery.
Rationale/Background: Late preterm newborns have traditionally received the same level of care and monitoring as term newborns despite being at increased risk for morbidity and mortality.
Description of the Project: An interdisciplinary clinical nurse specialist–led team guided by the Iowa Model of Evidence-Based Practice developed, piloted, and evaluated a standardized, coordinated approach to universal screening, assessment, and management of hyperbilirubinemia for late preterm newborns.
Outcomes: The readmission rate of late preterm newborns with hyperbilirubinemia in the 30 days after birth was reduced to zero, providing evidence of programmatic effectiveness.
Interpretation/Conclusion: Universal screening of late preterm newborns for hyperbilirubinemia significantly improved outcomes in this vulnerable population.
Implications: Detection of hyperbilirubinemia through universal screening of late preterm newborns is recommended in newborn nurseries.