A. Eligibility. Population Criteria

  • To review population criteria for the NICU Database, please click the link below: 


NICU Infant

Q: If a Big Baby is transferred-in to my hospital, but is admitted to a different unit and is not cared for by a Neonatologist there, is this baby eligible?

A: No. A Big Baby "NICU infant" must either be admitted to the NICU regardless of physician OR cared for by a Neonatologist, or the NICU staff if admitted to any other unit of your hospital.

Q: If a Big Baby is transferred to my hospital from another hospital, then admitted to another unit (and not to the NICU) but is still under the care of a Neonatologist, is this infant eligible?

A: Yes, if the infant was admitted by Day 28 and was cared for by a neonatologist in any other unit in your center EXCEPT for the delivery room.

Day 28 Cut-off

Q: We have an infant that was transferred-in at 35 days of life. Does the 28-Day rule apply to transfers?

A: Yes, the 28-Day rule does apply for transfers. However, only fill out the form if the infant was first admitted to your NICU on or before Day 28 of life. This particular infant would NOT qualify.

Q: Should an infant be counted who qualifies after Day 28?

A: A Big Baby who is admitted into the NICU on or before Day 28 is still eligible into the database even if the following selection criteria occur AFTER Day 28:

Q: A qualified two-month old infant is transferred to the third hospital. Does this infant count after Day 28?

A: To be eligible into the database, Small Baby infants must be born or admitted to any location in your hospital within 28 days of birth without first having been discharged home to be eligible. Any Big Baby infant who is admitted on or before Day 28 of life to the NICU or cared for by Neonatologist to be eligible, and then must fulfill the big baby eligibility criteria.

Here are a few examples to clarify the situation above:

  1. If the two-month old infant was eligible into the database on or before Day 28 at Hospital A, then was transferred to Hospital B for acute reasons on or before Day 28, and then transferred to Hospital C on or before Day 28, then that infant would be eligible and assigned an ID by all three hospitals.
  2. If the two-month old infant was transferred to Hospital B AFTER Day 28, then that infant wouldn't be eligible for Hospital B or Hospital C.
  3. If this same infant that was transferred to Hospital B on or before Day 28 is transferred back to Hospital A (even if it's after Day 28), then this infant's record in Hospital A would be updated based on the interventions that was performed at Hospital B using the Readmission Instructions.

Q: Does an infant who is admitted from home and never admitted to the NICU (for example, a cardiac kid who didn't declare himself until 3-5 days of life, and has already been discharged from the hospital) qualify for the database?

A: If the infant was never admitted to the NICU, and is being readmitted from home, the only way it would qualify is for the hyperbilirubinemia. You will need to record this infant in the database if the following has also occured:

  1. The infant was a Small Baby that was admitted to your hospital on or before Day 28 of life.
  2. The infant was a Big Baby that was admitted to your hospital on or before Day 28 of life and meets one of the Big Baby Eligibility Criteria.

B. Eligibility. Very Low Birth Weight Infants

Q: An infant, who is less than 401g and less than 22 weeks gestational age at birth is transferred to my hospital at 6 weeks. Is this infant eligible? Is this an acute or non-acute transfer?

A: As of 2022, an infant is considered a “small baby” if they:

  • Were born less than or equal to 31 weeks, 6 days gestation, OR
  • Had a birthweight ≤ 1,500 grams

All small babies are eligible for entry into the NICU Database, regardless of whether they were born at your hospital (“inborn”) or were born at a different hospital (“outborn”) but were acutely transferred to your hospital for care by any service (not just the NICU), as long as the transfer occurred before the baby’s 28th day of life.

C. Eligibility. Selection Criteria for Infants with birth weight > 1,500 grams

1. Acute Transfers

Note: An infant that is considered an Acute Transfer-In requires submission of the TRS form for the purpose of the Transfer Data System.

Q: Please clarify the difference between an "Acute Transfer" and a "Non-Acute Transfer".

A:  Starting 2019 Acute Transfer is defined as: "An Acute transfer is an infant with medical problems that require acute resolution for survival who is transferred in order to obtain medical, diagnostic, or surgical therapy that is not provided". Technically a transfer is from one acute-care facility to another, therefore, clinics and ambulance transfers from home do not qualify.

A non-acute transfer is an infant whose initial medical/surgical needs have been met, whose condition has been stabilized and who is transferred to a facility in order to obtain growth care, discharge planning care, chronic care, and/or hospice care. The medical needs of non-acute transfers may range from extensive and extremely complex care (e.g., an infant with lethal anomalies) to minimal care for feeding and growth (e.g., "maintenance").

Note: Infants transferred from one unit to another within your hospital are not considered to have been transferred or discharged.

Q. Is an infant transferred from a clinic using Children's Transport Services eligible?

A: No, the infant is only an acute transfer if he/she is transferred from one acute-care facility to another.

Q: Is an outborn infant that is transferred by ambulance to the NICU with no other qualifying criteria an acute transfer-in?

A: Only if it is a Small Baby that was transferred to your hospital on or before 28 days of life.

Q: A grower/feeder with an IV is transferred to our hospital in order to make space for an infant that we need to transfer them. They won't take our infant unless we take theirs because they don't have enough bed space. Is this an acute transfer in?

A: If the infant is a Small Baby and was transferred by Day 28 of life then yes. Therefore, a TRS form is required for this infant.

Q: An infant that was not eligible before is now transferred for census. Is this infant eligible as an acute transfer out? Or is the baby still not eligible?

A:  Starting in 2019, The definition for Acute Transport now excludes staffing/census issues (sometimes referred to as “bed availability”) or insurance restrictions. These choices have been removed from Item C.2 Indication for Transport [T_TRANSCODE].

Q: An infant that was not eligible before gets transferred out/in for feeding and growing (i.e antibiotics). Does this baby now qualify as an Acute Transfer out/in?

A: If a Big Baby is transferred from another hospital to your hospital for feeding and growing (non-Acute Transfer) only then the baby is NOT eligible. 

Q: Would the following be accepted as Acute Transfer-in, infants born at home, ER or Birthing Center?

A: An Acute Transfer only qualifies if the baby is coming from one "in-patient" facility to another. Therefore, infants coming from home, the ER or a Birthing Center does not qualify as an Acute Transfer to your hospital and you should not fill out the TRS (Transport) form. However, if this baby meets the Small Baby or Big Baby NICU criteria then it would be recorded as an outborn admission into your NICU if admitted on or before Day 28 of life.

Q: I had a Big Baby transfer out for services to another hospital after 28 days of life, would this still qualify as an acute transfer?

A: Yes, you would still record this information provided the infant was admitted to your NICU prior to or by 28 days of life. The baby would be recorded as an acute transfer out of your hospital for Medical/Diagnostic services on the CPQCC Admission/Discharge form only.

Q: Are infants considered transferred-in when they are technically moved from one hospital to another, even though it's the same building? For example, LPCH at Washington admitted from the co-located Washing Hospital OR LPCH Sequoia admitted from the co-located Sequoia Hospital...same physical site, but technically different hospitals.

A: No, starting with infants born in 2008, CPeTS has clarified that an infant born in the co-located hospital and then admitted to the Satellite NICU (e.g. a NICU owned and managed by the organization located within a delivery facility owned and managed by another hospital) is not considered a CPeTS Acute Inter-facility Transport for the purpose of the Transport Data System. No online CPeTS form (TRS form) is required.

However, an infant that is moved from one NICU to another NICU that is separated by a bridge would require a CPeTS form and considered a Special Situation - Self-Transport if the NICUs do not have a Satellite NICU - co-located Hospital relationship

Q: We administratively discharge an infant from the NICU who goes for post-op surgical services and then is readmitted to the NICU. Is this one admission or two separate admissions for CPQCC purposes?

A: For the NICU Database this situation is considered as one admission until the baby is discharged from the hospital.