Reimagining the NICU: A human-centered design approach to healthcare innovation

Publication Year: 2023
Authors: Sabah Mohammed, Troy Savage, and Mardelle McCuskey Shepley
Learning Themes: Global Health

Design charettes have been utilized in architectural and design practice to generate innovative ideas. The Reimagining Workshop is a version that combines practical and blue-sky thinking to improve healthcare facility design. The workshop engages diverse stakeholders who follow a human-centered design framework. The Reimagining the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit workshop sought to generate ideas for the future, optimal NICU without specific site or client constraints. Key themes include family-centered care, technology-enabled care, neighborhood and village design and investing in the care team. Recommendations include a supportive physical environment, celebrating milestones, complementary and alternative medicine, enhancing the transition of care, aiding the transition period, and leveraging technology. The workshop showcased the potential for transformative change in NICU design and provided a roadmap for future advancements. These findings can inform regulatory standards for NICU design and drive improvements in family-centered care, patient experiences, and outcomes within the NICU environment.

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