NICU Parent Advisory Council at University of Colorado Hospital

The first of its kind, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Parent Advisory Council (NICU Parent Advisory Council) at University of Colorado Hospital provides valuable feedback and support to the NICU.

Growing from the Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) Advisory Council, which covers the entire University of Colorado Hospital, the NICU Parent Advisory Council follows the same philosophy: “the highest quality of care is best achieved through a partnership of healthcare professionals and those they serve.” The NICU Parent Advisory Council is focused specifically on the NICU experience for premature and ill newborns and their families. The council is committed to the patient’s perspective of care; in the NICU, the parents are the voice for patients. The aim of the NICU Parent Advisory Council is to work with the interdisciplinary NICU Staff Council to improve the quality of care for patients and their families offered by University of Colorado Hospital.

Below are some of the major accomplishments of the NICU Parent Advisory Council since its inception in 2009:

  • Implemented a parent satisfaction survey
  • Initiated the purchase and installation of whiteboards in every patient room
  • Revised visitation guidelines
  • Established NICU Parent Advisory Council parent support events
  • Created parent education events
  • Formalized patient privacy codes to be consistent with the hospital’s policy
  • Implemented the NICU Book Nook – a library of children’s books for parents
  • Requested and approved NICU partnership with the Graham’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports families of preemies
  • Reviewed and implemented follow-up phone calls to parents after babies return home
  • Supported budget requests for more recliners, appropriate chairs for visitors, and bedside tables in each pod
  • Approved the proposal for a March of Dimes Family Support Specialist
  • Offer one-one-one parent support through parent advisors
  • Send communications and holiday greetings to NICU parents
  • Began creating “Wall of Hope” with Preemie Prints, a nonprofit organization providing support to preemie, NICU, and angel families
  • Began a partnership with Love for Lily, a nonprofit organization that provides support for families with babies in the NICU and sponsors frequent NICU Mom’s Group meetings and NICU Dinner Group meetings to bring families of NICU babies together

Parents wishing to be part of the council must complete a pre-screening application, a confidentiality agreement, and an in-depth interview.