3 Top Reasons to Align Feeding Practices Across Healthcare Systems

By Sue Ludwig and Kara Ann Waitzman

Why does it matter if all hospitals within a system practice the same way?

A good question. After all, every hospital is different. The easy answer from a system standpoint is cost savings. But we believe (and they do too) that it’s deeper than that.

Lives are changed for the better when an entire system allocates resources toward a particular goal and that goal improves the quality of patient care, outcomes, staff and parent satisfaction. And historically, that’s why those of us in healthcare get up in the morning. Yes, even big hospital systems.

Many large U.S. hospital systems have done just that using the Online Infant-Driven Feeding® Course. Below you’ll find 3 top reasons to align oral feeding practices across systems:

  1. Improve Quality of Care
    • Redefine successful feeding
    • Increase positive feeding experiences & reduce negative oral experiences during critical period of brain development
    • Improve knowledge of feeding as complex, skilled task
    • Learn age-appropriate feeding interventions
    • Acknowledge & support vital parental role in feeding process
    • Align practice with evidence based medicine


  2. Improve Outcomes
    • Improve parent satisfaction
    • Improve staff satisfaction
    • Improve consistency of training
    • Increase continuity between caregivers
    • Decrease LOS
    • Decrease time to full oral feeds without sacrificing safety and quality


  3. Sustain Program Development
    • Provide a scalable solution for staff education
    • Improve consistency of staff orientation related to feeding
    • Provide a system for replicable implementation
    • Provide consistent and valid language, assessments and documentation for feeding readiness, quality and caregiver techniques

When an entire hospital system decides to improve an area of practice, everyone wins. Most importantly, babies and families.