Health Professional News

Children’s Minnesota neonatal home-based monitoring program study proves successful, expands to Minneapolis hospital

Children’s Minnesota’s Neonatology Program is pleased to announce that the Children’s Home Application based Monitoring Program (CHAMP) has rolled out to eligible neonatal patients at the Minneapolis hospital, after a successful pilot study in St. Paul.

The program is the only kind in the state of Minnesota that allows families with infants meeting certain criteria to discharge from the hospital sooner with expert care and monitoring continuing at home. The program is expected to expand to The Mother Baby Center at Mercy with Children’s Minnesota in the summer of 2022.

Dr. Cristina Miller in the NICU
Dr. Cristina Miller, medical director of the Children’s Minnesota NICU Follow-up Clinic

What is CHAMP?

The CHAMP study evaluated how at-home care impacts babies’ ability to learn to feed, rates of breastfeeding and overall patient-family satisfaction. Through this study, the Children’s Minnesota Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in St. Paul proved that home monitoring could be successfully implemented and proved safe for infants. After close monitoring of 20 patients within a one-year period, results indicated decreased time to full oral feeds.

Who can be enrolled in this program at Children’s Minnesota St. Paul NICU?

Babies born preterm who have difficulty feeding but are otherwise generally healthy can be enrolled in the program.

Why would this be beneficial?

Sending babies home from a NICU stay earlier allows families to care for their newborns at home with the full support of Children’s Minnesota’s neonatal expertise.

How does this work?

Before heading home, babies have a nasogastric tube (NG) inserted. Families are then provided with a scale and a tablet equipped with a program called Locus, which allows parents to input vitals that are shared with their neonatal team. Families who enrolled were also trained by the team on proper NG and oral feeding techniques as well as CPR.

The benefits of going home earlier from a NICU stay

“The first question any parent asks when their child is admitted to the NICU is, ‘When can we go home?’ We’re hoping that this method helps families return to their normal daily lives faster, especially with the additional COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that had been in place,” said Dr. Cristina Miller, neonatologist at Children’s Minnesota and head of the CHAMP study. “But even after the pandemic is over eventually, this could be a game changer.”

About the Children’s Minnesota NICU

The Children’s Minnesota Neonatology Program is a vital resource for families in the region. Our neonatal team of more than 500 doctors, surgeons, neonatal nurse practitioners and pediatric specialists is the largest in Minnesota — and one of the largest in the country. With close to 200 neonatal beds in our hospitals and special care nurseries, we welcome more than 3,000 babies every year. The program has been a part of some of the most important discoveries in neonatal care, participating in various studies from treatments for respiratory illnesses to brain injuries to kangaroo care, all of which were tested at Children’s Minnesota before they were adopted around the world.

Dina Elrashidy