Clinical Conversations Deliver Healthy NICU Outcomes
When I joined ProgenyHealth as a medical director, one of the aspects of the job that I found most appealing was the ability to do meaningful outreach to other neonatologists across the country. Having taken care of many medically complex babies as an attending physician in a NICU for eight years, I feel like I can understand what physicians in the community are going through and the challenges they are facing.
One of the best opportunities for engaging with these physicians comes when we at ProgenyHealth partner with a new client. This provides a chance to connect with physicians, and to discuss how their practice patterns can synergize with ProgenyHealth guidelines to improve patient outcomes. These physician-to-physician discussions form a solid foundation from which trust and working relationships are formed.
An illustration of this collegial dialogue occurs regularly regarding how to wean infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) off their medication. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) has no explicit guidelines for medication weaning, ProgenyHealth’s experience with NAS cases has allowed us to develop both weaning guidelines and minimum recommended medication doses that we can share with the physicians on the front lines. These best practice guidelines offer recommendations which can bring order and clarity to an otherwise foggy process.
Since joining ProgenyHealth, I have proactively reached out to neonatologists and pediatricians at several different hospitals throughout the country who have been struggling with this issue. In the context of collegiality and partnership, I have shared our guidelines with them while discussing their current practices. With mutual respect and a common goal, we have worked together to promote quality care and reduce lengths of stay for these medically fragile babies.
These sorts of dialogues are amongst the most efficient and enjoyable moments that I have had as a medical director at ProgenyHealth. We are in a truly unique position to offer productive conversations between clinical colleagues that can lead to evidence based medical solutions, impactful changes, and improved outcomes for: clients, hospitals, and most importantly, the babies.
About Our Author:
Dr. Andrew Meyer has over ten years’ of experience as a Neonatologist in the hospital setting. He received his Medical Degree from Drexel University, did his Neonatology Fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, and earned his MBA from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania. As a Medical Director at ProgenyHealth, he is responsible for particular health plan clients where he works with both Progeny’s UM and CM Nursing Teams to oversee and direct care coordination services.