NICU Standard 18: Family Transition Room(s)

Family Transition room(s) shall be provided within or immediately adjacent to the NICU that allows families and infants extended private time together if this function is not achieved through the availability of appropriately outfitted single-family or couplet care rooms to prepare for the transition from hospital to home.

The room(s) shall have direct, private access to sink, toilet and shower facilities, emergency call and telephone or intercom linkage with the NICU staff, sleeping facilities for two parents, and sufficient space for the infant’s bed and equipment. Each room shall also have at least four electrical outlets for use and charging of the family’s electronic devices.

The room(s) can be used for other family support, educational, counseling, or demonstration purposes when unoccupied.

Interpretation: Access to a family transition room helps families prepare for discharge by acting as an intermediate space between the highly medicalized environment of the NICU and the home. The room(s) should be sufficiently equipped and sized to accommodate the parents and baby, with additional space for a physician, nurse, social worker, chaplain, or other individuals who may need to meet with the parents and baby in private.

For security reasons, transition room(s) should be situated within an area of controlled public access.

The number of electrical, medical gas, and suction outlets specified will be dependent on the function(s) intended for this area.

Sufficient family transition rooms should be provided to allow those families who wish to room in with their infants the opportunity to do so prior to discharge. The appropriate number of rooms will depend on each hospital's practice pattern, the number of single infant rooms with parent sleeping facilities, the availability of other rooms nearby, the size of the region served, and other variables.

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