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Report of the Eighth Census Conference on Newborn ICU Design
Committee to Establish Recommended Standards for Newborn ICU Design
Robert D. White, MD, Chair
January 26, 2012 Clearwater Beach, FL
   September 18, 2012
Standard 1 - Unit Configuration

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 stated objectives.

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 increased demand.

The specific approaches to achieve individualized environments are addressed in subsequent sections.


Additional Information
last updated September 19, 2012  Kathleen Kolberg, University of Notre Dame