The Israel Neonatal Network and National Very Low Birth Weight Infant Database

Brian Reichman*, Gil Klinger, Shmuel Zangen, Orna Levitzki, Liat Lerner-Geva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Israel Neonatal Network (INN) is a voluntary consortium of all neonatal departments in Israel. The Israel National Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) Infant Database was established in 1995 under the auspices of the INN. The main objectives of the database are the application of quality data for the assessment of morbidity and mortality trends of VLBW infants; benchmarking of individual neonatal unit performance in comparison to national data; quality of care and management; planning of national, regional and institutional structure and policy development; longitudinal developmental assessment and for collaborative research programs. Data are reported for all live born infants of birthweight ≤1,500 g, irrespective of the gestational age at birth. From 1995 through 2019, the database includes reports on 39,000 VLBW infants and 33,000 mothers encompassing over 99.5% of all VLBW live births in Israel. The minimal data set includes parental demographic details, maternal pregnancy history, treatments and complications, antenatal care, details of the delivery, infant's status at delivery, infant's diagnoses, procedures and complications during hospitalization and outcome at discharge. The predominant activity of the database relates to data collection, collation and presentation of the data in unique annual reports for each of the participating Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and an annual national report presented to departmental, institutional and governmental health care leaders. The database provides a research platform for all participants in the INN. More than 60 neonatologists, obstetricians and epidemiologists from 15 different hospitals and organizations have undertaken and published studies in the context of the database. The Israel Neonatal Society has promoted, initiated and coordinated two major quality improvement programs encompassing all INN collaborators, aimed at reducing the rate of blood stream infections and the rate of severe intraventricular hemorrhage among very preterm infants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6651
JournalPediatric Medicine
StatePublished - 30 May 2023


FundersFunder number
Gertner Institute
Ministry of Health, State of Israel


    • Israel
    • database
    • network
    • quality improvement (QI)
    • research
    • very low birth weight (VLBW)


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