Gresham, Smith and Partners announces the completion of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Florida Hospital Altamonte. The new NICU includes 10 private patient rooms, a family lounge and nesting room and prioritizes the patient experience to create a calming environment for patients and families.
After a 2014 GS&P-designed renovation of the OB unit, Florida Hospital Altamonte asked GS&P to conduct a study that would identify solutions to expand neonatal services in order to serve high-risk pregnancies within the existing hospital. As a result, GS&P and Florida Hospital Altamonte decided to renovate existing medical and surgery space into a Level II NICU. GS&P is also leading design for the final phase of this project supporting Florida Hospital Altamonte’s neonatal services, which will update and renovate the well-baby nursery and support spaces.
“We’re pleased to bring exceptional care for newborn babies and their families to the community and to provide a safe environment where it’s possible for babies to grow and develop until they are ready to go home from the hospital,” said Dr. Rajan Wadhawan, chief medical officer and medical director of neonatology at Florida Hospital for Children. “Having a child in the NICU can be a stressful time for families, and it’s important they have access to these services close to home.”
The interior finishes complement those found in the hospital, but form the NICU’s own unique identity. The spa-like color palette, wood tones and artwork establish a tranquil, healing environment.
“We are excited to be a part of the concerted effort by Florida Hospital Altamonte to bring together and expand neonatal services and the new NICU is a critical piece,” said Joseph C. Bucci, AIA, NCARB, senior architect, Gresham, Smith and Partners. “Through thoughtful planning and design the new space advances the human experience and patient safety.”
The new NICU houses a nesting room where parents can spend the night alone with their child – but with easy access to nurses – before discharge to achieve greater comfort caring for their baby and ease the transition to home life. A family lounge is for the exclusive use of NICU families and includes a kitchen, space to relax and TV/entertainment. There is also an adjacent shower and toilet room so that families can stay near their baby.
Each patient room is equipped with telemetry monitoring inside the room, on the headwall, as well as outside of the room in the nursing alcoves. This integrated technology allows nurses to monitor the babies’ vitals without entering the room and disturbing the patients and their families. The facility also features the baby security system, HUGS, and the nurses station is located at the entrance providing additional oversight and security.
GS&P’s dedicated Healthcare staff approach each project through the lens of Value-Added Design. Value-Added Design is a dynamic, holistic framework in which teams explore and define what is important to clients with a focus on key performance indicators: patient safety; operational efficiencies; integration of technology; adaptability/resiliency; healthy, sustainable buildings; and human experience through evidence-based design. This approach gives clients the opportunity to assess and prepare for inevitable market shifts.