Best NICU in the Northland
Partnership with Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics Offers the Best of Both Worlds
The last thing a pediatrician wants to do with babies born premature or sick is shuttle them around from hospital to hospital. Until North Kansas City opened its private room neonatal intensive care unit and staffed it with specially trained nurses, nurse practitioners and neonatologists, pediatricians had to transfer sick newborns and frail preemies downtown to Children’s Mercy Hospital for treatment. To ease this process for pediatricians and families, North Kansas City Hospital partnered with Children’s Mercy Hospital to offer the only Level III neonatal intensive care nursery in the Northland.
“We really wanted to help doctors provide the highest possible care for sick babies right here in the Northland,” explains Michele Malone, Director of Women’s Services and Nursing Excellence, the nurse leader who oversaw the establishment of this higher level of service for neonates. “Our goal was to create an environment that promotes growth, healing, and wellness, and we’ve certainly achieved that with the NICU.”
Now, sick newborns can get the specialized, round-the-clock care they would get at Children’s Mercy Hospital without leaving the Hospital. The Hospital also accepts babies born elsewhere but who need the care we offer.
“The partnership between North Kansas City Hospital and Children’s Mercy Hospital spans many years. With the opening of the NICU, Children’s Mercy Hospital neonatologists are on site each and every day. In addition, Children’s Mercy Hospital Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NNPs) are onsite 24/7 providing specialized care to newborns in the NICU, as well as supporting deliveries of infants who need varying degrees of resuscitation at birth,” explains Steven L. Olsen, MD, who serves as chief of neonatology through the partnership with Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Plus, it’s not just the doctors and nurses in the NICU who have specialized training.
“Everyone who works in the NICU – including people in nursing, respiratory therapy, radiology, the lab, and the pharmacy receive extensive additional training in caring for very sick newborns,” says Malone. “Even the environmental services and housekeeping crew receive special training and have strict protocol for infection prevention.”
This arrangement allows Hospital pediatricians and nurses to collaborate with some of the best specialists in the country.
“Children’s Mercy Hospital neonatologists are available to pediatricians 24 hours a day for consultations, with many being offered during daily rounds in the NICU. These consults range from formal patient evaluations to “curb-side” questions about various issues,” says Dr. Olsen.
The neonatologists also advise the obstetrical group about high risk pregnant mothers and can be a resource for emergency medicine physicians in code type events. The neonatologists and nurse practitioners often meet face-to-face with expectant mothers to discuss anticipated neonatal problems.
In addition to these benefits, the Hospital also offers certain amenities for families not available anywhere else in Kansas City. These include 18 private rooms, a sleeper chair in each room, and our Guest Quarters program, which offers families affordable overnight accommodations in the Hospital.
Overall, the partnership gives pediatricians all the tools they need to send babies home.
“We look forward to many more years of partnership with the Hospital in bringing specialized newborn intensive care to the Northland,” says Dr. Olsen.