Nicklaus Children's Hospital Enhances the Care Environment with New Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion
Six-story tower brings the latest in kid- and family-centered care and technology to Miami's premier medical facility
Patients of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s three intensive care units and its hematology-oncology and neurology-neurosurgery units have moved into the hospital’s newly opened Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion, a six-story 213,000-square-foot tower featuring the latest technical and family-centered advancements.
“This move is a major milestone for our organization,” says Dr. Narendra Kini, CEO of Miami Children’s Health System, parent organization of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. “We now offer one of the most technologically advanced care spaces in the world, consistent with the excellence of our clinicians. Equally, we have created a care setting that is supportive of families of children with critical illnesses, affording them privacy and more home-like comforts.”
Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with more than 740 attending physicians and more than 220 pediatric subspecialists. The 289-bed hospital is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with numerous specialty programs routinely ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession’s most prestigious institutional honor.
A total of 189 of the hospital’s 289 beds were relocated to the new tower, enabling Nicklaus Children’s Hospital to convert all of its remaining rooms to individual family-centered spaces. Units recently relocated to the new tower include:
• Cardiac intensive care unit
• Pediatric intensive care unit
• Neonatal intensive care unit
• Neurology-neurosurgery unit
• Hematology-oncology unit
“Our philosophy was to bring technology and treatment to the patient, rather than the patient to the treatment,” according to Michael Harrington, president and chief operating officer of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
The best example of that may be the inter-operative MRI used during neurosurgical procedures. The iMRI is on a ceiling-mounted rail system; it moves from point A to point B within the surgical suite so the patient doesn’t.
The high-resolution magnetic resonance images provide neurosurgeons with a view of the affected area of the patient’s brain in real-time to determine if the targeted area is thoroughly treated or if surgical plans need to be adjusted before procedure completion. When not in use, the iMRI is housed in a separate imaging suite, where it can be used for MRI procedures for hospital inpatients
Another example of advanced tech in the new tower is the pneumatic tube technology that speeds the transport of medications and lab specimens within the hospital, enhancing care efficiency.
“We started with a basic premise,” Harrington says, “that we want technology to enable the work, and not become the work. We’re solving definitive work flow issues without putting in new technology for the sake of that; it is truly understanding what it takes for that nurse, physician, clinical staff or pharmacist to be able to care for the patient. It enables them to do their work more effectively.”
Another big shift in the new facility has been to family-centered care amenities.
For many parents and their children, being in a pediatric ICU will be one of the toughest scenarios in their lives. “Our goal is to make it a healing environment,” says Jackie Gonzalez, senior vice president and chief nursing officer. There are three areas in each 300-square-foot patient room. One zone for the staff, one for the patient, and the third is for the family. Family interaction is at the forefront of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s focus. The family’s ability to be present and accessible is absolutely essential in terms of care, especially in critical care services. The hospital believes the patient room should offer comfort to the entire family and includes a fold-out double bed for parents and a closet for the family’s personal belongings.
In terms of patient amenities, the facility’s GetWellNetwork is an in-house television and entertainment system with room service ordering. Pediatric patients order their meals by room service: what they want, when they want it. It also has teaching applications for the patient and family.
Each hospital unit also has a playroom where the kids can play and complete arts and crafts projects, supervised and guided by Child Life specialists.
“I was hoping, in my lifetime, that I would be able to see this sort of a vision come to reality, and it really has,” Gonzalez says.