Move to Single-Family Private Rooms

Essentia Health NICU was previously operating under a multiple open infant bay ward with little to no private parent care space. To keep up with latest trends and best practices, Essentia Health made the decision to move to a Single-Family Private Room model. This further improves infant and maternal care outcomes, including a reduction in length of stay and an overall improved experience for mothers and newborns through improved bonding and reduced stress.

Because of the increased family involvement through the lengthy weeks and even months of development and care for the infant, the single-family private room became the focus of the design for the expanded NICU. The single-family room encourages positive family interaction, overnight stays, and privacy for kangaroo care (skin-to-skin holding). Essentia Health now provides 14 single-family rooms with five twin care rooms where babies are kept together in the same room and cared for by the same nursing team.

The rooms feature advanced room lighting, floor-to-ceiling natural light to support infant circadian rhythm, a family sleeping zone, and cameras so parents can livestream their newborn’s bassinet to watch their child 24/7 on an application and website—all with the objective of allowing parents to stay with their babies around the clock whenever possible.

Nurturing Spaces for families

The NICU also features an area for families to decompress and to connect with others going through the same experience. The Ronald McDonald Family Room includes an entertainment wall, dining tables, and kitchenette to dine with other family members, lounge seating, and spa. Nature-inspired finishes, artwork, and super-graphics were used throughout the NICU to provide a calming, nurturing atmosphere.