Aim: To achieve the National Neonatal Audit Programme (NNAP) standard of 90% normothermia among preterm infants born under 30 weeks of gestation.
Methods: Project SHIP (Stopping Hypothermia In Premmies) was a quality improvement programme to improve admission normothermia. Phase 1 of the project implemented low-fidelity simulations during 2011-2016. In Phase 2 (2017), a multimodal approach to quality improvement was used, including in situ simulations, videos of simulated scenarios, an allocated team member for thermal care, a clear protocol for thermal care, a coordinating ‘lollipop man’ role and monthly performance feedback. Additionally, continuous temperature monitoring using servo-control during stabilisation was introduced during Phase 2. Phase 3 (2018-2019) focused on embedding practice and maintaining performance.
Results: Phase 1 initiatives resulted in improvement of normothermia rates from 58% to 75%. However, the results plateaued. During Phase 2, the hypothermia rate fell from 16% to 3%. During Phase 3, this improvement in the hypothermia rate was sustained, achieving the standard of 90% normothermia in 2018 and falling just short in 2019 due to an increased hyperthermia rate.
Conclusion: A multimodal quality improvement approach achieved sustained improvement in normothermia. Continuous temperature monitoring during stabilisation allows resuscitating teams to plan interventions to treat hypothermia and hyperthermia.