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Project Description

Family-centered care has become integral to the provision of quality neonatal intensive care. Mounting evidence indicates that providing psychosocial support and promoting optimal family involvement in both decision-making and the care of hospitalized newborns improves outcomes. However, practices that reflect the core principles of family-centered care have not been described fully in the literature or implemented consistently and evaluated within newborn intensive care. 

Three centers within the Vermont Oxford Network NIC/Q 2002 collaborative worked together with experts and families to develop an innovative web-based resource to assist individual care providers and family advisors to provide comprehensive family-centered care to infants and families. The primary aim was to create a family-centered care map that would enhance the ability of the health care team to partner with families to coordinate and deliver care in a holistic manner to meet the developmental, physical and psychosocial needs of NICU patients and their families. 

The FCC map is divided into 7 individual phases that an infant may experience if admitted to the NICU: preadmission inborn/outborn, acute, golden hours, growing stronger, breathing feeding growing, transition to home and post discharge. The map also includes separate phases for bereavement and transfer.

Each phases centers around Potentially better practices or PBPs. PBPs are ideas for improvement that are supported by evidence, logic and practical experience.

Core Principles of Family-Centered Care 
  • People are treated with dignity and respect. 
  • Health care providers communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families in ways that are affirming and useful. 
  • Patients and family members build on their strengths by participating in experiences that enhance control and independence. 
  • Collaboration among patients, family members and providers occurs in policy and program development, professional education, as well as in the delivery of care.
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