Hospital Sisters Health System
St. John’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Springfield, Illinois

Faced with the nationwide trend of increasing premature births—often due to rural areas where local hospitals have cut back on or eliminated obstetrical services, HSHS St. John’s Hospital needed to make drastic changes to their existing 40-bed Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU.)

Kahler Slater led clinical, operational, and facility leaders in a NICU Research and Trends presentation, followed by a Vision Workshop to arrive at consensus on the tangible image, measurable goals, and guiding principles that will define the project’s success. The result: a clear definition of the outcomes and experiences the client is seeking for their patients and families, staff, physicians, and the community.

The proposed 44,020 sq ft program will include a transition to mostly private Level III NICU rooms to allow parents to spend more time with their babies. A small number of semi-private Level III beds, mother/postpartum rooms and a transitional care nursery are also anticipated. Other components of the plan include nurse charting alcoves, support areas, centralized reception areas, family lounge, family waiting room and off-stage support services.

Coming out of the Vision Workshop, the team emerged with a clear picture of what success will look like at the completion of the project: “We are the NICU with the best outcomes for premature infants in the world. Our goal is to help them reach their developmental potential.” The measures of success for this project will include: Press Ganey – accommodations for parents, cleanliness of the NICU, average hours/week infants are visited by parents, average length of stay for NAS babies, seven-day readmission rate (which is expected to decline if parents are present more often and know what is normal for their child), and colleague engagement/teamwork as they move to a much larger footprint and a private room care model.

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