Reducing the radiological exposure of neonates and cost of care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at a private hospital in Bangalore, India

Neonatologists and nurses at Ovum Hospital in Bangalore were concerned that newborns were being exposed to unnecessary X-rays. In November 2016, staff from this hospital attended a two-day workshop on quality improvement approaches (QI) conducted by the ASSIST Project. During the workshop, teams prepared a real-life quality improvement project that they could implement in their facility.

The Ovum Hospital team decided to reduce X-ray exposure of neonates. They identified two factors contributing to this problem:

  1. Many babies had to undergo repeat radiological examination when the quality of the original examination was poor.
  2. X-ray examinations were being done routinely to locate the tip of umbilical venous/arterial cannulas (UVC/UAC) when ultrasounds could be used instead.

By analyzing the root causes of these problems, they were able to devise and implement effective changes to the procedures and processes of care in the NICU to reduce unnecessary X-ray examinations; thus, reducing radiation exposure and the cost of care for high-risk infants.

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Report Author(s): 
Praveen Venkatgiri, Vidheya Venkatesh, Priya Subramani Rao, Mahtab Singh, and Nigel Livesley
USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project/URC
ASSIST publication: 
ASSIST publication
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