The Children’s Hospital at Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center was designed with a vertical expansion in mind back in 2013. The approximately 126,000-square-foot three-floor addition will allow the Medical Center to expand their pediatric inpatient care and provide the opportunity to collocate the Labor and Delivery of Women’s Health program with well-baby nursery and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The addition adds 133 new beds, split between inpatient programs including acute care, labor and delivery and pediatrics. The consolidation of programming will pave the way to achieving a more comprehensive patient service of the Children’s Hospital.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will be located on the top floor of the expansion with a direct vertical connection to Labor/ Delivery and Post-Partum Unit.
The current NICU has 42 bassinets with an open-bay layout. The unit is considerably undersized when benchmarked with the newly constructed neonatal intensive care unit which has private patient rooms. Small patient open areas limit maternal-infant bonding opportunities, also compromising the privacy of families. Based on our observations in the existing unit, care providers frequently run back and forth between bassinets and clean supply/ medication rooms. It is also challenging to accommodate enough clinical, staff supports and teaching spaces within the unit.
Community engagement is well established in the medical center, including a Ronald McDonald Family room and Family Support Center to provide the family comfort and support during the challenging time.
Improved Workflow Design
To improve the workflow of the space, our design team developed a hybrid care model based on the staffing ratio of one nurse to three bassinets, using the combination of private, twin, triplet and three pods of six bassinets to achieve a 56-bassinet unit.