Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight – Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance – NEST Program


Southeastern North Carolina has some of the highest rates of infant mortality, averaging an 8.5 rate compared to the state’s rate of 7.1 (2014). The state itself ranks 42nd in mortality rate nationally.


Through a collaborative effort between Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance (CCHA), its member hospitals and Coastal Carolina Neonatology, the NEST Program was developed to train delivery room providers and transport teams to improve communication, teamwork, medical knowledge and clinical skills for treating critically-ill and/or high-risk newborns.

The NEST Program utilizes patient simulators and a multidisciplinary training team to recreate high-risk neonatal scenarios in situ participating hospital’s nursery. Scenarios include meconium aspiration, respiratory distress syndrome, maternal placental abruption and an extremely premature infant. These scenarios were selected because they are not frequent enough for clinicians to practice often, but may result in fatal outcomes if not properly managed. After conducting the simulation scenario, a debriefing is held with trainees, which reinforces clinical skills and standards of care. It also provides the opportunity to review appropriate medical protocols and identify latent safety threats, which was not intended but was very valuable to participating hospitals.


A total of 243 providers were trained and found a demonstrated improvement in the participants’ confidence, particularly in the care of the extremely low birth weight infant.


Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance (CCHA) is a not-for-profit organization providing value to its members by facilitating improvement of quality and delivery of healthcare and achieving operational efficiencies through collaborative efforts. Coastal Carolina Neonatology offers pediatric specialty care in southeastern North Carolina, working collaboratively with community hospitals, pediatricians and family practitioners to serve children throughout the region.

Check out the project video and view the Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance page in the 2017 Intalere Best Practices Compendium.

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