The NICU design shall be driven by systematically developed
program goals and objectives that define the purpose of the unit,
service provision, space utilization, projected bed space demand,
staffing requirements and other basic information related to the
mission of the unit. Design strategies to achieve program goals and
objectives shall address the medical, developmental, educational,
emotional, and social needs of infants, families and staff. The
design shall allow for flexibility and creativity to achieve the
The NICU shall be configured to individualize the caregiving
environment and services for each infant and family, including
families of twins or higher-order multiples.
Interpretation: Program goals and objectives
congruent with the philosophy of care and the unit's definition of
quality should be developed by a planning team. This team should
include, among others, health care professionals, families whose
primary experience with the hospital is as consumers of health care,
administrators and design professionals.
The program goals and objectives should include a description of
those services necessary for the complete operation of the unit and
address the potential need to expand services to accommodate
The specific approaches to achieve individualized environments
are addressed in subsequent sections.