Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The NICU provides a high level of intensive care to premature infants. Patients within NICUs are monitored through the assessment of a range of physiological parameters as displayed on screen by a range of physiological devices.

The domains of neonatal intensive care and critical care for the elderly are well suited to the service oriented architecture model. When an ill term or premature baby is born in a hospital without Neonatal support, this support is provided via telephone exchange until a specialized team arrives to transport the baby to a NICU.

It is common to require remote on-going support for babies discharged from a Neonatal ICU (NICU) potentially through remote home based sensors feeding real-time event based systems. This is in addition to the remote support required from birth until the baby is transported to a

In order to understand the impact of information technology, particularly to support information flows in the NICU, an IT Capacity audit project has been initiated with the support of the Hospital for Sick Children. This audit is a multi-dimensional, multi-role audit to aid in automating the creation of patient journey models while understanding how information flows between the various roles in the NICU. In particular, the study will analyse the use of technology to support (or deter) information flows and the obstacles to the implementation and integration of ICT in the NICU. This study will be initially run at the Hospital for Sick Children and then through the support of the Canadian Neonatal Network, run at all 27 level 3 or level 4 NICUs in Canada. There is also support from hospitals in Australia, India, and the United States to run the capacity audit. This will enable a regional, national, and international analysis of commonabilities and best practices to be completed.

Related Papers

Percival, J.C., Catley, C., McGregor, C., and A. James “Modeling the Impact of Technology on Information Flows in Neonatal Intensive Care Units” submitted to Studies in Computational Intelligence, Special Volume on Intelligent Patient Management, Under Review

Catley, C., McGregor, C., Percival, J., Curry, J, and James, A. (2008) “Multi-dimensional Knowledge Translation: Enabling Health Informatics Capacity Audits Using Patient Journey Models” 30th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC08)

Foster, D., McGregor, C., (2006), "Design of an Agent Server for Neonatal Analysis and Trend Detection" International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, vol. 1, no. 1, pp 27-34, ISSN 1751-1461 (print),  1751-147X (CD-ROM)