Frequently Asked QuestionsLearn more about the NICUtrition® platform
Have some questions? We’ve got the answers.
Below are answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding our NICUtrition® platform. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us using the link below. We will be happy to help.
Q. Your platform sounds interesting, but we feel we are already doing a great job optimizing preterm infant care. How will this help us?
A. With so many different nutrition and feeding protocols, a growing catalog of available dietary options, and lack of standardization, it’s difficult to make truly informed decisions about feeding and nutrition. Nutrition expertise is housed in consensus-based protocols and in the experience of neonatal nutrition experts, but experts aren’t always accessible when nutrition and feeding don’t go as expected and a personalized approach is needed. Unlike the rest of neonatology, current tools do not provide precise feedback to support nuanced clinical decisions about nutrition and feeding.
NICUtrition® is a real-time clinical decision support tool to monitor and analyze feeding and nutrition delivery — for an individual baby or for the entire NICU. It is designed to extract feeding and nutritional data directly from your hospital’s electronic health record and allows clinical teams to track improvements in feeding milestones, test quality improvement outcomes over time, and quantify the correlated patient outcomes. NICUtrition® can help you navigate the details and make the best decisions as experts in neonatal nutrition.
Q. I am not familiar with the science behind the importance of feeding and nutrition — why is this such a big deal?
A. As survival rates for extremely preterm infants improve, the focus is shifting to improving the quality of survival through optimal nutritional management. Unfortunately, many preterm infants do not grow after birth for many days and subsequent growth does not keep up with normal fetal growth rates. Successful progression from parenteral to enteral to oral feeding is key to achieving appropriate growth and development, yet it remains a major challenge for clinicians. Delayed start to providing nutrients, slow advances of nutrient supplies, and dilute nutritional mixes are causes of inadequate nutrition. Feeding difficulties result in the prolonged duration of central line days, parenteral nutrition, and intra-gastric feeding.1 In addition, clinician variability in individual practice attitudes, knowledge, and experience influence the implementation of a feeding strategy. These factors contribute to significant variation in the practice of feeding in the NICU — the feeding contents, quantity, schedule, advancement, and the decision-making process for feeding/not feeding. These variations in feeding and nutrition are significant enough to affect health outcomes for preterm infants.
In a Nationwide Children’s Hospital study aimed at process optimization, the implementation of a standardized feeding strategy in the NICU was shown to effectively minimize practice variability, accelerate the attainment of enteral and oral feeding milestones, and decrease the length of stay without increasing adverse morbidities.1 Optimizing nutrition management in the NICU during this critical period in early life can positively impact not only physical growth, but also neurological development.
Q. Our unit has a dietitian. Why do I need this solution?
A. NICUtrition® specifically supports a dietitian’s work, making nutrition management more efficient and more easily understood by visual numeric and graphic presentations. Additionally, a hospital’s own enteral feeding protocol can be digitally implemented to promote compliance and overcome the challenges of time-consuming manual processes of entering details of feeding, nutrient supply, and specific outcomes. Detailed nutrition tracking and deviation mapping allow for continuing improvement based upon real world evidence which, today, is largely impossible. NICUtrition® will save your dietitian time, enabling he or she to practice at the top of their license.
Q. If I don’t have a feeding protocol, does NICUtrition® still provide value?
A. Yes! NICUtrition® Initial Insights can absolutely provide benefits to your NICU, even if your unit does not have a feeding protocol, by tracking milestones, measuring outcomes and allowing for easy data extraction for reporting and quality initiatives. Initial Insights includes a multi-year retrospective study, which will also serve as a baseline measure, and real-time ongoing analytics of feeding metrics through our interactive dashboard. It provides individual patient views as well as unit-level views. The easy way we collect data and the dynamic manner in which we report back to you allows you to quickly realize value.
Q. How do you integrate with my EMR?
A. NICUtrition® fully integrates with your hospital’s EMR and fits seamlessly into your current workflow, increasing efficiencies and reducing documentation time. With the ability to integrate through FHIR standards, implementation of this digital tool is much simpler than custom integration projects or EMR reports with manual view.
Since Epic is the leading EMR in the U.S., we decided to solve for tight integration with Epic before entering the market. NICUtrition® is now live in the Epic App Orchard after having our application thoroughly vetted and tested to be fully complimentary with your Epic deployment.
Cerner has always been a leader in interoperability from their support for M-Pages to their wide and early support for FHIR standards. We are actively working with Cerner and potential Cerner early adopters to design an integration approach based on FHIR standards.
For a non-Epic/Cerner EMR, we have the option of doing retrospective studies to get you started on the NICUtrition® path.
Q. I believe my EMR supports some of this functionality already — how is this different?
A. EMR’s don’t target the specific functionality that NICUtrition® offers, as evidenced by Epic’s vetting and approving us for their App Orchard. NICUtrition® complements your investment in your EMR and builds on the data and workflows established in your full function EMR. Further, NICUtrition® reports are dynamic and easy to produce locally in the NICU which can save cycle times and appropriateness from EMR generated reports which may take a long time to get from your IT department.
Q. We already pay for Vermont Oxford Network ("VON") and report outcomes there. What value does NICUtrition® add? What milestones and outcomes do you track?
A. VON submissions require significant allocation of trained resources to prepare submissions based upon manual review of individual patient records. VON reports are also significantly time delayed and do not provide real-time, actionable information. NICUtrition® facilitates the labor-intensive process of extracting required data fields. Additionally, NICUtrition® provides the most meaningful data in a real time manner to care providers and can capture and report on data that matches the workflow and concerns specific to your NICU. As the NICUtrition® user community grows, we fully intend to provide more timely and focused peer reporting relating to nutrition, care and outcomes in the NICU.
Q. How much does NICUtrition® cost?
A. Our platform is offered in multiple tiers to best match your institution’s objectives and resources. We have reasonable SaaS retail pricing based on annual NICU admissions, with special incentives and benefits for early adopters. NICUtrition® is purpose-built to improve care and outcomes while at the same time giving you a strong ROI of more than 10x. We would be happy to do a quick evaluation of your needs and submit a price for your consideration.