The NICU shall be designed as part of an overall security program
to protect the physical safety of infants, families and staff in the
NICU. The NICU shall be designed to minimize the risk of infant
Interpretation: Because facility design
significantly affects security, it should be a priority in the
planning for renovation of an existing unit or a new unit. Care
should be taken to limit the number of exits and entrances to the
unit. Control station(s) should be located within close proximity
and direct visibility of the entrance to the infant care area. The
control point should be situated so that all visitors must walk past
the station to enter the unit. The design should provide for maximum
visibility of the nursery from the workroom or charting area.
However, security considerations should not adversely affect the
quality of spaces for families in the NICU. The need for security
should be balanced with the needs for comfort and privacy of
families and their infants.
Technological devices can be utilized in flexible and innovative
manners within the design of the multiple-bed or single infant room
NICU schematic. Such technology, when utilized in conjunction with
the thoughtful planning of the traffic patterns to/from and within
the NICU space, support areas and family space, can facilitate a
safe, yet open family-friendly area.