The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) will present the ICU Design Citation to the pediatric intensive care unit/pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PICU/PCICU) at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, during the 2018 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition in Boston, May 21-24.

The PICU is on Level 3 of the hospital’s new 14-floor building, which opened in February 2017 and is located on the University of Iowa Health Care campus in Iowa City, Iowa. The hospital’s focus on patient- and family-centered care is apparent throughout the unit, including architectural elements, décor, floor plan and room design. 

The floor has 28 private patient rooms, including 14 designated for cardiac ICU patients. In addition, several rooms are equipped for specific needs, such as EEG monitoring, teleICU, positive pressure airflow and isolation rooms. Two rooms on Level 3 feature portable lifts, reinforced bathroom fixtures, increased bed capacity and other special equipment for bariatric patients. An extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) storage room provides quick access to this specialized equipment when needed.

Each patient room is divided into three areas with dedicated zones for the patient, family and care team. Clear sliding doors form the entrance to each room, giving the care team a clear line of sight to the patient for monitoring, with bathrooms and private space for the family at the back of each room.

Overhead booms allow the care team to instantly position monitors, lights and medical gas outlets precisely where they need them. Patient recommendations led to a touchscreen TV being located on the boom, allowing the patient to see it even when lying flat.

Each room also features a special lighting fixture known as Drew’s Lamp, which was inspired by a former patient to provide entertainment and distraction. Controlled by the patient using a bedside remote, Drew’s Lamp has 11 settings that allow patients to control how they want to illuminate the seven colorful cubes mounted on the wall.

The Ronald McDonald House Family Room is designed as a “home away from home” for families, allowing them to remain close to their children and includes a kitchenette, dining area and living room. Hot meals are served every evening, and food is also available for breakfast and lunch at no cost to the families. Other Ronald McDonald House rooms include a lounge, parent respite room, sleep room and a shower suite.

The offstage area on Level 3 includes offices, storage, service elevators and other behind-the-scenes areas. Patient elevators, also offstage, allow patients to be transported between floors privately.

The coveted award — co-sponsored by AACN, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, Mount Prospect, Illinois, and the Committee on Architecture for Health of the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco — recognizes ICUs that successfully combine functional design with humanitarian delivery of care.

CBRE | Heery was the architect and designer on UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. CBRE | Heery is a full-service architecture, engineering, interior design, construction management, and program management firm with a specialty in healthcare facilities and master plans. The company has offices across the country.