Optimizing care for Neonates at risk for Opiate Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS-NM)


Pilot of Observation and Transport Protocols for Community Hospitals



NOWS-NM is a state-funded pilot initiative implemented by Envision New Mexico within the Department of Pediatrics at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center to provide training and quality imprement (QI) support to healthcare providers for infants born with Neonatal Opiate Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS) and their mothers in rural communities.  The pilot initiative entails preliminary assessment of current provider attitudes and practices concerning care for opiate-using pregnant women and NOWS infants.  Local healthcare practitioners are then provided with instruction and training to increase their knowledge of NOWS and their capacity to implement best practices regarding assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.  Practitioner training is administered through a series of web-based instructional video modules as well as telehealth case consultations with UNM Hospital physicians, nurses, and other NOWS experts.  Post-training improvements in targeted practitioner behaviors are reassessed through medical record reviews of specific service quality indicators.  A primary objective of the training and QI support is to increase capacity among local healthcare practitioners to provide appropriate care for NOWS infants and to reduce the number of medically unnecessary long-distance transports to UNM Hospital for prenatal care, delivery, and postnatal follow-up.

For more information about NOWS-NM, please contact Dr. Heather Pratt-Chavez, MD or Sarah Sanders, RN, MS.