Predicting NICU admissions in near-term and term infants with low illness acuity

Malini Mahendra, Martina Steurer-Muller, Samuel F. Hohmann, Roberta L. Keller, Anil Aswani, R. Adams Dudley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Describe NICU admission rate variation among hospitals in infants with birthweight ≥2500 g and low illness acuity, and describe factors that predict NICU admission. Study design: Retrospective study from the Vizient Clinical Data Base/Resource Manager®. Support vector machine methodology was used to develop statistical models using (1) patient characteristics (2) only the indicator for the inborn hospital and (3) patient characteristics plus indicator for the inborn hospital. Results: NICU admission rates of 427,449 infants from 154 hospitals ranged from 0 to 28.6%. C-statistics for the patient characteristics model: 0.64 (Confidence Interval (CI) 0.62–0.65), hospital only model: 0.81 (CI, 0.81–0.82), and patient characteristic plus hospital variable model: 0.84 (CI, 0.83–0.84). Conclusion/relevance: There is wide variation in NICU admission rates in infants with low acuity diagnoses. In all cohorts, birth hospital better predicted NICU admission than patient characteristics alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-485
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding Support for this study was received from an NIH T32 award (HD049303-11). This work was performed at Benioff Children’s Hospital, San Francisco and the University of California, San Francisco. Dr MM work was supported by an NIH T32 award (HD049303-11).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.


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