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Logan Regional Hospital is opening a newly remodeled Nursery Intermediate Care Unit for newborns. This NICU is the first in the nation to use an open-nursery design. For hospitals with small NICUs, this open design improves the ability of the nursing staff to work as a team and enhances the quality of care for the infants. The project is receiving national attention by other hospitals and health-care providers.

Our remodeling effort was able to move forward thanks to the cooperative efforts of the Utah State Department of Health and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit physician committee, chaired by pediatrician Guy M. Hatch, M.D. Based on sound medical evidence gathered by Dr. Hatch, the Health Department "overruled" a decades-old national guideline that prohibited the construction of open nurseries based on outdated medical data.Other hospitals in the country that have tried to remodel their NICUs to an open design have been blocked in their attempts by their state health departments. The extra-mile research efforts of Dr. Hatch, combined with the state of Utah's proactive vision in granting acceptance, allowed for Logan Regional's NICU redesign. As a result of this project, the national guideline itself has been challenged and will most likely be changed.

This project is a good example of how government and the private sector can work cooperatively to do the right thing for the community.

Richard J. Smith, FACHE