The original vision of the new Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital began almost 10 years ago, but it was still just a dream at that time, shares Jackie Gonzalez, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Now that dream has become a reality. Gonzalez said actually bringing the dream to fruition was accomplished during the past four years, "and this has been a wonderful journey for us."

Many elements went into the planning, and Gonzalez said primary among them was that, "We were looking for ways to provide care for the families we serve in a respectful, healing environment. Our CEO (of Miami Children’s Health System), Dr. Narendra Kini, had an incredible vision for building a place where the use of technology would bring patients access, assuring safety and empowering the families with knowledge and convenience. There are several new technologies that are in this pavilion, all aimed at leveraging technology to improve care. And we really needed to do something to add privacy while modernizing our rooms." All of the pieces of this vision were definitely accomplished.
The new pavilion is a six-story tower, connected to the current building. It has 213,000 square feet and contains 189 beds, all single-family rooms, each approximately 315 square feet. Gonzalez described the tower by saying, "We have tremendous use of natural light here that we didn’t have in some of our other areas. The rooms have family spaces that are beautiful, where people can walk out of the room for a break, get a cup of coffee, sit on the sofa; and it’s enclosed so they have some privacy there, too. It’s beautiful space with uplifting artwork, play space for patients and siblings, on floors with themes that represent earth, air, water, sun, and the universe. The rooms themselves have a pullout couch with a double bed, so again, families can live more like a family – it’s not where you come in and can only have one parent in the room or one visitor. Plus, they can order food from the kid-friendly room service menu, offering great food with healthy choices, any hour of the day. So the pavilion is also bringing families together, and that was another guiding principal."
Additionally, there’s a garden in the central corridor. "One family told me it feels like a hotel when you come in," she said. "It’s very wide open and we have developed outdoor garden spaces, where you now see families going out to sit on benches."
When the pavilion officially opened, 113 children were moved in, and the transfer was tremendously successful, according to Gonzalez. "We were so pleased and proud, and the families were so happy, as was the staff. One family has been here for more than six months with their child who has been really ill, and they said, ‘This is like a renewal of hope.’ So it has had that kind of an impact."
The units that moved into the new building include cardiac intensive care, pediatric intensive care, neonatal intensive care, neurology-neurosurgery, and hematology-oncology/bone marrow transplant. Gonzalez said that because the move included three of the critical care units, along with the intensity of the patients on the other two floors, additional personnel were brought in – volunteers from the LifeFlight Team among others who were not on duty – to help with the transport. The physicians themselves brought in their own teams in the interest of safety. "So we had extra help for the move, and then we resumed normal operations that night." The planning that went in to assure the success of this move was accomplished throughout 2016.
Gonzalez said that in addition to enhancing the physical amenities for patients and families, one of the goals of the pavilion was, "no paper." To accomplish that, she said one of the new technologies that was added was placing an iPad-like device outside of each room. Rather than using precaution signage for the room, the information goes onto a screen that is stationed outside of the room. Several icons can be used there. "It can be used for any kind of signs that are pertinent to that child; for example, if they’re at risk of falling, our Humpty Dumpty Falls Prevention sign would be there to indicate, ‘this patient is a fall risk, use all precautions.’ And everyone involved would know what that means."
Additionally, some of the new technology includes applications that will send electronic discharge instructions to parents or will notify them when they are in the hospital that tests have been ordered for their child. "For example, if the physician wrote an order for an MRI, a parent can elect to also receive the message on an app, which allows them to read through their orders and even discharge instructions. We’re very excited to further empower our families."
Now that the new pavilion is up and running, Gonzalez said the next step is that "the units that remained in the existing building will be renovated with similar themes in mind, so that the same level of care and the healing environment that this pavilion has will be perpetuated throughout the organization."