University Hospital’s NICU designated Level IV, the highest level of care for premature and very sick babies

November 29, 2017

New state law requires rigorous expert review of NICU capabilities; University Hospital’s Level IV capabilities are verified by the American Academy of Pediatrics

University Hospital has been designated as a Level IV neonatal intensive care unit by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Level IV signifies the highest level of care available for premature and very sick babies.

While University Hospital’s NICU has offered that level of care for some time, state law now requires the Texas Department of State Health Services to designate both neonatal and maternal hospital programs according to the level of care they can deliver by March 2018. The law also for the first time requires hospitals to pass a rigorous site visit by experts to verify those capabilities. 

University Hospital’s 58-bed NICU went through a rigorous verification by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The academy found no deficiencies in the comprehensive care provided in the NICU at University Hospital. 

The AAP is the leading organization in the nation dedicated to providing the best care of children. They were particularly impressed with the robust quality improvement programs, multidisciplinary teams and family support services.  The AAP commented: “University Hospital NICU shows a clear commitment from physician and nursing leadership to provide integrated and excellent care for newborns”

University Hospital’s NICU treats about 700 infants a year from throughout the state. A team of neonatologists from UT Health San Antonio is available in the NICU around the clock. A dedicated pharmacist, respiratory therapists, a clinical lab and specially trained staff round out the team.

University Hospital’s NICU has a mission of discovery in addition to providing the highest level of care. Its Neonatal Nutrition & Bone Institute, unique in Texas, is studying new and better ways to ensure healthy development of newborns.

It works hand-in-hand with advanced programs such as heart surgery, liver transplants, bowel rehabilitation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO — programs and therapies only available at a research institution. It offers the only comprehensive follow-up program in South Texas for babies after they leave, including the NICU Graduate Clinic and the PREMIEre program.

Babies have access to the most advanced technology, including the Angel Eye and Baby Chat programs that allow parents to see and speak to their babies elsewhere in the hospital, or from many miles away if extended stays make it necessary.

For more information about University Hospital’s NICU, visit www.universityhealthsystem.com/NICU, or call 210-358-8255.