Importance: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) rates in the United States remain high and have changed little in the last decade.
Objective: To develop a consistent BPD prevention bundle in a systematic approach to decrease BPD.
Design, setting, and participants: This quality improvement study included 484 infants with birth weights from 501 to 1500 g admitted to a level 3 neonatal intensive care unit in the Kaiser Permanente Southern California system from 2009 through 2019. The study period was divided into 3 periods: 1, baseline (2009); 2, initial changes based on ongoing cycles of Plan-Do-Study-Act (2010-2014); and 3, full implementation of successive Plan-Do-Study-Act results (2015-2019).
Interventions: A BPD prevention system of care bundle evolved with a shared mental model that BPD is avoidable.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was BPD in infants with less than 33 weeks’ gestational age (hereafter referred to as BPD <33). Other measures included adjusted BPD <33, BPD severity grade, and adjusted median postmenstrual age (PMA) at hospital discharge. Balancing measures were adjusted mortality and adjusted mortality or specified morbidities.
Results: The study population included 484 infants with a mean (SD) birth weight of 1070 (277) g; a mean (SD) gestational age of 28.6 (2.9) weeks; 252 female infants (52.1%); and 61 Black infants (12.6%). During the 3 study periods, BPD <33 decreased from 9 of 29 patients (31.0%) to 3 of 184 patients (1.6%) (P < .001 for trend); special cause variation was observed. The standardized morbidity ratio for the adjusted BPD <33 decreased from 1.2 (95% CI, 0.7-1.9) in 2009 to 0.4 (95% CI, 0.2-0.8) in 2019. The rates of combined grades 1, 2, and 3 BPD decreased from 7 of 29 patients (24.1%) to 17 of 183 patients (9.3%) (P < .008 for trend). Grade 2 BPD rates decreased from 3 of 29 patients (10.3%) to 5 of 183 patients (2.7%) (P = .02 for trend). Adjusted median PMA at home discharge decreased by 2 weeks, from 38.2 (95% CI, 37.3-39.1) weeks in 2009 to 36.8 (95% CI, 36.6-37.1) weeks during the last 3 years (2017-2019) of the full implementation period. Adjusted mortality was unchanged, whereas adjusted mortality or specified morbidities decreased significantly.
Conclusions and relevance: A sustained low rate of BPD was observed in infants after the implementation of a detailed BPD system of care.