Live-streaming bedside cameras have recently been installed in the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) at both Lutheran Hospital, 7950 W. Jefferson Blvd. and Dupont Hospital, 2520 E. Dupont Road, Fort Wayne. According to a recent news release, Lutheran Health Network (LHN) installed five cameras in each hospital’s NICU earlier this year so parents can see their newborn infants at any time.

“The cameras are a new avenue for parents to maintain a connection with their baby. This technology provides a way to receive messages from the nurses in real-time that is very convenient,” LHN leadership said.

When a newborn is placed in a NICU, parents and baby may be separated for some time. To improve the family’s experience and ease some of the stress of being separated the cameras help parents and other family members see their child’s progress whenever they log on through a secure network with a personal password. The camera captures every moment in real-time.

“They are strictly used for visualization and sharing information when visitation is limited and health care needs require options to support the natural welcoming of a new life into a family. The live video is not recorded or stored,” LHN leadership said.

“No one ever wishes for their infant to be in the NICU, it is such an emotional journey for a parent,” Dupont Hospital’s NICU Team Specialist Shelby Albertson, RN, BSN, said in a news release. Adding, “As a nursing team, we feel that the cameras will aid us as we walk through the journey alongside our families and support them throughout their stay.

“The cameras are meant to reassure and comfort parents and family members. There is no charge and parents can choose to use the service or to opt out. The technology is a gift offered to alleviate stress and increase support for families separated by an unplanned hospitalization,” LHN leadership said. LHN declined to disclose the price of the cameras and installation costs.

“...I absolutely love the cameras. I love being able to see my baby anytime I want to check-in. It gives me peace of mind. Dad and I enjoy being able to now be home with one of our girls and still be able to check on the other anytime, until she comes home, too,” Danyel Smith-Jackson, a mother of twins, said in a news release.

The easy-to-access app includes a One-Way Patient Update tool that enables clinical staff to send parents vital updates and precious moments through text, photo or video, further engaging parents in their infant’s care.

“The app and cameras are very user friendly. They make it so easy for us as nurses to communicate information with parents when they can’t be here with their little ones. I just love that parents have the ability to check-in anytime they want,” Monica Arney, RN, Lutheran Hospital, said in the news release.

“We hope by offering a 24/7 live stream camera, we can ease the transition for families that are unable to be at the bedside with their baby. Our goal is to utilize the cameras to give us another layer of support for easing the hearts and minds of our NICU families that so graciously entrust their baby’s care to our team.” LHN leadership said.

Finally, NICU video is paused during various medical procedures or when the infant is receiving care.

“The video is always paused during care, which is made very clear to families when we offer the opportunity to utilize the technology. We also provide clarification during the consent process. There is a standard image that states the infant is receiving care when the nurses pause the camera,” LHN leadership said.

Lutheran Hospital and Dupont Hospital are certified as Perinatal Centers and as Level III Obstetric Care and Level III Neonatal Care Centers by the Indiana State Department of Health. Dupont Hospital and Lutheran Hospital have also been designated Blue Distinction® Centers+ for Maternity Care from Anthem, Inc., which recognizes quality maternity care and expertise.

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