OBJECTIVES

Investigate disparities by Hispanic ethnicity in the care of opioid exposed newborns (OENs) in Colorado birthing hospitals within a statewide quality improvement collaborative.

METHODS

This study is a secondary analysis of a quality improvement initiative aimed at standardizing hospital-based care of OENs through implementation of the Eat, Sleep, Console Model. We used statistical process control charts to compare time to special cause variation by Hispanic ethnicity for outcomes including infant length of stay, use of pharmacologic therapy, and breastfeeding eligibility and receipt. Only hospitals that delivered both Hispanic and non-Hispanic OENs during the study period were included, documented maternal ethnicity was required for inclusion. We investigated hospital variation in these outcomes among 4 hospitals that cared for Hispanic OENs for most of the study period.

RESULTS

We analyzed 799 mother–OEN dyads, 241 Hispanic and 558 non-Hispanic. Both Hispanic and non-Hispanic OENs experienced decreases in length of stay overall and among those who received postnatal opioids, although Hispanic OENs achieved these decreases 3 annual quarters after non-Hispanic OENs. Pharmacologic therapy use decreased by 55% for Hispanic OENs and 60% for non-Hispanic OENs. Hispanic OENs experienced a 1-quarter delay for this decrease.

CONCLUSIONS

Although this quality improvement initiative resulted in positive outcomes for Hispanic and non-Hispanic OENs, improvement was delayed among Hispanic infants, indicating a need to explore and address care practices of Hispanic mothers and infants affected by opioid use disorders.

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