Maryland Patient Safety Center

If interested in learning more about our Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome initiative, please contact us:

Standardizing Care and Treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) occurs in newborns who were exposed to opiates, alcohol, narcotic or other drugs while in the mother’s womb. Newborns with NAS have physiologic and neurobehavioral signs, medical complications, increased chance of admission to an intensive care unit, and prolonged hospital stays (average of 26 days). With the rising rate of opiate and heroin addictions in Maryland, the number of infants born to substance using pregnant women has also increased, increasing the rate of babies born with NAS. In October of 2016, the Maryland Patient Safety Center began a two year initiative to standardize care and treatment of these infants.

The MPSC has partnered with the Vermont Oxford Network (VON) to utilize their Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome State-wide Implementation Package. This partnership provides collaborative participants with access to data-driven, action-oriented, education modules for improving outcomes and increasing the quality and safety of the care provided to infants with NAS and their families. 

The goals of this two year initiative include:

  1. To decrease the length of stay for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
  2. To decrease 30-day readmissions of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
  3. To decrease the number of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome transferred from the birthing hospital to a higher level of care or specialty hospital for longer term care.