Improving Effectiveness of Phototherapy in an Academic Center: A Quality Improvement Project

Ashajyothi M. Siddappa, Frances L. Prekker, Tina M. Slusher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia is a common cause of delayed discharge and readmissions in our institution. As previously published, the irradiance our phototherapy (PT) units provided was below the irradiance recommended by the AAP for intensive phototherapy (>30 µW/cm2/nm). We measured irradiance delivered by our PT units (Drager 4000) using a standardized footprint grid. By varying number of blue and white fluorescent PT lights, height of PT unit above the neonate and type of bed used (open bassinet versus isolette), we determined the optimal PT arrangement needed to deliver intensive PT (30 µW/cm2/nm). We then developed a standardized, multidisciplinary protocol specifying light arrangement and distance required needed to achieve the desired irradiance level. We were able to show improved irradiance following above changes. Onsite measurement of irradiance provided by local phototherapy units and development of a multidisciplinary, standardized protocol are necessary to assure delivery of recommended levels PT for neonates with hyperbilirubinemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGlobal Pediatric Health
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all the Hennepin Healthcare staff for all their support and help with this project. Additionally, we would like to thank Yvonne Vaucher, MD, MPH at the University of California San Diego, CA for critically editing this paper. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The publication cost of this article was covered by Hennepin Healthcare Department of Pediatrics.


  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • mean footprint irradiance
  • newborn intensive care unit
  • phototherapy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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