On June 13, 2018, the USAID-funded Every Preemie—SCALE project convened the fifth meeting of the PTB/LBW Global Technical Working Group on Implementation Challenges and Solutions (PTB TWG-ICS). This meeting focused on family member engagement during inpatient newborn care and included presentations and participation from a wide range of clinical and public health disciplines, donor groups, implementers, and advocates. The meeting addressed three main topics including evidence and policy support for family-integrated care; emerging models of family-integrated care from low- and middle-income countries; and roles and responsibilities across the range of care givers. The agenda and presentations can be accessed on the Every Preemie website.
Following presentations and discussion among in-person and web attendees, members divided into groups to discuss strategies for moving ideas to action in the areas of metrics, implementation in service delivery models, and integration into current global initiatives and approaches. Overarching themes emerged in all three groups of addressing infrastructure (e.g., overcoming structural challenges such as rooming-in or 24 hour visitation for parents, and the associated costs), shifting attitudes (e.g. messaging for providers, administrators, families and communities on benefits, and inclusion of marginalized groups), and adapting or implementing new practices (e.g. training providers on working with families as partners in care).
Because standards and metrics exist or are forthcoming for many aspects of care for small and sick newborns, focusing on the family as the object for measurement rather than the newborn or parent independently would provide new and useful metrics for monitoring family-integrated care. The lack of evidence around family-integrated care in low-income settings was also acknowledged, and the group pushed for more data to support its full and successful implementation. As the next step from this meeting, a technical brief is being developed on the topic of family engagement during inpatient newborn care as part of Every Preemie’s Do No Harm series and will be available in August 2018. For more details, please contact Chelsea Dunning or Jim Litch.