Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Revolutionizes Neonatology with New Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Yale New Haven Health celebrated the opening of its new, innovative neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) on January 24, 2018 at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH) in New Haven, Connecticut. The two-floor renovation applies the latest developments and best practices in neonatology and is designed to support family-centered care, enhance outcomes and advance research in neonatology.

In 1960, Yale-New Haven Hospital was the first in the nation to open a special unit for neonates called the Newborn Special Care Unit. Currently this unit admits over 1,000 premature and critically ill newborns per year and is consistently ranked among the top Neonatology programs in the country. The hospital’s NICU provides in-patient intensive care, consultative support and neonatal transport services for newborns in Connecticut and beyond.

The highly specialized 48,000 square foot, 64-bed Neonatology unit provides state-of-the-art programs and amenities including a surgical procedure room, ECMO treatment, a fetal care center, 24/7 compounding pharmacy, a simulation lab for medical education, and dedicated Neonatal MRI (3 Tesla) all located on the fourth level of the NICU. The space also includes a Telehealth program and advanced technology system for delivering medical care and consultations remotely (?).

CBRE | Heery provided architectural and engineering services for the project, adopting YNHCH’s family-centered model of care throughout the renovation. To provide the best opportunity for positive patient outcomes and improve the patient experience of care, the new NICU’s couplet rooms keeps mothers and their babies together throughout their hospitalization. Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital is one of only two hospitals in the United States and the first academic medical center to offer couplet rooms in the NICU.

Each patient room was designed as a single-family room, offering families privacy and a therapeutic environment. The procedure room enables the hospital to provide a full range of care, from routine procedures to complicated surgeries. The availability of the procedure room avoids the need to transport critically ill infants off the unit for these interventions.

The NICU’s Telehealth program allows physicians to consult directly with neonatal team members and grants the medical team remote access to patient medical information to help examine, diagnose, treat and provide continuous follow-up care. Incorporated into the design was the innovative integration of physiologic monitoring, computerized decision support, alarm management, mobile communications, and the electronic medical record.

The renovation project is part of a larger 120,000 square foot restacking and radical reconfiguration of four floors in the West Pavilion on Yale New Haven Hospital’s main campus. It accommodates the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Triage, Labor and Delivery, C-Section Suite