Penn State Children’s Hospital is also home to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Follow-up Clinic, which seeks to improve outcomes for babies deemed at-risk for later difficulties, especially those born prematurely and with high-risk premature conditions. While the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Follow-up Clinic focuses on the medical and psychosocial development of children born with heart problems and provides services through patients’ teen years, the multidisciplinary staff at the NICU Follow-up Clinic provides services to children born with any condition that would increase their risk for developmental delays. Children can continue to receive services with the NICU Follow-up Clinic until they reach preschool age.
Started in late summer 2015, the clinic is already outpacing its capacity and plans are in place to expand services to meet the growing demand. While it is too early to identify any significant outcomes or volume data, anecdotal evidence indicates that the programs have experienced rapid growth as evidenced by the need to expand the hours.
The clinic staff are also planning to pool data from multiple patients in order to generate a database that will be used in future research efforts.