Better Healing in Private Rooms
Like most hospitals, our current NICU was originally constructed with open bays—where eight to 10 bassinets are situated close together in one large room, surrounded by high-tech devices. While the unit provides the highest-quality neonatal and mother-baby services, this care is delivered in a bright, noisy and busy environment.
To enhance the NICU experience:
- CHOC will build 36 private NICU rooms in the Bill Holmes Tower.
- There is potential for more beds in a second construction phase that could include an expansion of our highly utilized Small Baby Unit.
- Construction of the NICU expansion is slated to be complete in summer 2017.
Why does privacy matter?
Private NICU rooms, which will have enough space for a bassinet, family members and the complete medical team, are setting a new standard for improved patient outcomes. Research has shown that infants in a private-room setting have a higher average weight gain per day, fewer days requiring intravenous nutrition and a reduced rate of hospital-acquired infections. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found that infants cared for in single-family rooms weighed more at discharge and gained weight more rapidly than those cared for in an open design. Also, they required fewer medical procedures, had increased attention, and experienced less stress, lethargy and pain. The researchers attributed these findings to increased maternal involvement.
Even more, the private-room setting provides the space and privacy that parents need in order to be more intimately involved in the care of their baby, including breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact, and parents can actually spend the night with their child. In addition, the private room gives staff more access to and interaction with the family and patient.