The University of Kansas Hospital has recently become the first facility in the country to build a "home" for premature baby development.
The goal is to offer primary care for the smallest patients and their special needs. The goal is to house the doctors and other health services under one roof, making it easier for parents and the children.
The Neonatal Medical Home offers a variety of pediatric specialists in one location where children with medically complex problems from premature birth or other causes can receive care.
Patients also include those needing specialty care, infants and toddlers with health problems.
"It's nice having all of them in one area and if we need anything, they are right here," said Megan Miller, who has twin infant daughters Chloe and Lana Miller. "There's always someone to talk to. Somebody going through the same thing. It's a very good support system."
"This home is a place where we use parents as partners in caring for the babies," said Dr. Prabhu Parimi, medical director of the Neonatal Medical Home. "We incorporate their feedback and wishes in their child's care plan, as opposed to other places where the physician directs the care. This dedicated space will provide robust care where all sub-specialists come to one place and provide the care in one setting instead of going to multiple clinic appointments."
Parimi said everyone involved in a baby's care is under the single roof. This includes cardiology.
The change took place three months ago, and has been well received by parents and others.
"Overall, patients are extremely happy they don't have to go anywhere else," Parimi said. "They call us and get an appointment and within an hour they see the same doctors that took care of them while the babies were in the ICU."
The program also offers health maintenance visits, coordination of complex services, co-management with specialists and assistance with transition, especially from the inpatient neonatal intensive care unit to the family's home.
Neonatologists also meet with parents to offer prenatal consultation and to address questions and concerns before delivery.
Neonatal Medical Home services and advice are available to families 24 hours a day.
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