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Reimagining the NICU brought together a group of healthcare professionals and students to find innovative ways to improve the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which provides intensive care for premature or ill newborns. After the first workshop, a second session was organized where three 'superteams' expanded on the insights of the initial session to create revised designs.

This lookbook showcases the work done by the workshop teams.


Reimagining Workshops’ purpose are to ensure that healthcare facilities are optimally designed. We propose updates to healthcare design guidelines and help push innovative ideas forward, one workshop at a time.


Click here for more information on our Reimagining Workshops

View insights by innovation type:


Patient Care Unit


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Additionally, videos of the teams explaining their designs can be found here:

  • YouTube

Engage with the Reimagining community:


Or learn more about the workshop process:


Three Workshop Insights

1. Neighborhood
Empathy Observations

During their interviews with clinicians and patient representatives, the neighborhood team identified a few common themes: 

  • The flexibility and adaptability of combinable rooms was helpful for all parties

  • Care teams often had concerns about noise and lack of a proper sight-line to the babies

  • Dedicated community and education spaces helped create a better experience for families


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Revised Design

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2. Patient Care Unit
Empathy Observations

During interviews with clinicians and patient representatives, multiple themes about the family care unit emerged: 

  • The rooms were simply uncomfortable, with too little space, no natural light and excess noise

  • The rooms were often rigidly designed and not flexible enough to accommodate families with different needs

  • The rooms were not able to shift as families’ needs changed throughout their stays

  • There was often a lack of privacy, but other times too much privacy led to feelings of isolation

  • There were often no accommodations for post-operative mothers


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Revised Design

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Patiet Care Unit
3. Technology
Empathy Observations

During their empathy work, the technology team identified multiple issues and areas of focus:

  • The NICU was often overwhelming at first and frequently made parents feel out of control

  • There were sometimes tradeoffs between patient care and family comfort

  • There was a need to balance isolation and socialization

  • Parents often wanted more help transitioning to home care


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