Vanderbilt hospital to manage NICU at Erlanger's Children's hospital

The exterior of Erlanger hospital is shown in this file photo.

Erlanger hospital has signed a management services agreement with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt to take over operations of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at its Erlanger's Children's Hospital.

Beginning Dec. 4, Vanderbilt will manage Children's Hospital at Erlanger's NICU program and provide the department's medical director and director of nursing. Erlanger will employ the neonatology physicians and nurse practitioners in the Neonatal ICU at Children's Hospital at Erlanger and Erlanger East Hospital.

"We feel certain this new agreement between Children's Hospital at Erlanger and Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt will raise the level of care, services and outcomes for our most vulnerable patients here in the community and throughout the region," said Don Mueller, CEO of Erlanger's Children's Hospital. "They are ranked as one of the top 10 children's hospitals in neonatology across the country by U.S. News and World Report and known internationally for its quality of pediatric care and outcomes."

In May 2017, Erlanger issued a request for information for neonatology services at Children's Hospital as a means of assessing overall quality and safety in the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The hospital received three applications. A multidisciplinary committee, which included maternal fetal medicine physicians, pediatricians, pediatric surgeons, pediatric specialists, nursing and executive leadership, met with each of the applicants before choosing Vanderbilt.

"Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt is recognized internationally for its quality of care and proven outcomes; they have an academic mindset and there is also potential for a neonatal training program under this affiliation, which will enhance our commitment to training pediatricians in our Health System," Mueller said.

In 2016, the Erlanger and Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced a strategic affiliation agreement which created a collaborative relationship between the two institutions, with Erlanger also joining the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network to formally collaborate on a broad range of health and wellness initiatives and clinical services.

Erlanger President Kevin M. Spiegel said that the focus of Erlanger's affiliation agreement with Vanderbilt was to "enhance cost-effective healthcare, quality and improve patient access to care."