Neuroprotective Core Measures 1-7: A Developmental Care Journey: Transformations in NICU Design and Caregiving Attitudes


The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Mercy Kids Hospital-Springfield (Missouri) recently embarked on a transformational developmental care journey. The catalyst for transformation was the impending construction of a new 48-bed NICU with single-family rooms. The shift to a new design represented the departure from an older, traditional open-bay NICU, which provided an opportunity for honest reflection on both the current neonatal physical environment (NICU), as well as current caregiving-practices. NICU staff verbalized a desire to change not only the physical environment, but wanted to change their culture of caregiving by embarking on a journey toward improved neuroprotective family-centered developmentally supportive care. Utilizing the Neonatal Integrative Developmental Care Model as a framework, Mercy identified specific goals and aim statements within each of the model's seven core measures (Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews. 2013;13:9-22). This manuscript outlines the steps Mercy took to achieve success on each core measure goal and illustrates how physical and cultural transformation can occur within the NICU setting.


Occupational Therapy

Document Type





Culture change, Design, Neuroprotection, NICU, Quality improvement, Single-family room, developmental, core measure, Wee Care

Publication Date


Journal Title

Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews