Creating national care standards for neonatal intensive care units in 2007

Mehri Golchin, Hayedeh Heidari, Shohreh Ziaie, Shayesteh Salehi


BACKGROUND: Infant mortality rate is reported 3.18 in 1000 births in Iran. International organizations such as World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) consider applicable standards essential for providing effective health services in hospitals and health centers. Therefore, it is essential to create national care standards for neonatal intensive care units (NICU) in Iran.

METHODS: This is a multiple triangulation study conducted in 2007. In the first step, international standards were extracted from appropriate sites. Then, using Delphi method, as well as the viewpoints of 15 experts in clinical medical sciences, a set of suggested standards for intensive care unit was prepared. In the third step, 42 clinical science experts of Iran were selected, and their viewpoints on applicability of the suggested standards were investigated through a descriptive survey method. Data obtained in this step were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

RESULTS: First, intensive care standards were extracted; then clinical science experts reviewed the suitability and applicability of suggested set of standards for Iran and finalized them. Finally, 386 standards for intensive care were drafted and approved by 77.5% to 100% desirability rate for NICUs of Iran.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the study showed that most standards were either appropriate or fairly appropriate. So, necessary changes in final standards were made based on subjects, viewpoints and suggestions as well as the results of consulting with supervisors.

KEY WORDS: Neonatal, standards, intensive care unit, NICU.

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