Telephone communication with family

Information about a baby in the NICU will be given over the phone to the mother and three (3) other people designated by the mother. 

Each family will have a rolodex card kept at the medical receptionistís desk with the motherís name and the names of her 3 designated information recipients.  When a call comes in to the NICU, the medical receptionist should identify the caller, check the rolodex card, and only transfer calls into the nursery from the mother or her 3 designees. 

To remain in compliance with HIPPA regulations, the family should now designate a codeword to identify themselves over the phone.  We recommend using the babyís date of birth for ease of memory.  When the mother or authorized family memberís call is transferred into the nursery, the nurse should ask for the codeword (date of birth) before divulging any information about the patient.

A blank rolodex card will be included in the nursing admission packet.  The patientís bedside nurse is responsible for obtaining the motherís name and the names of her designees on admission (write the phone information recipients on the front of the card and the allowed visitors on the back of the card) and placing the completed rolodex card in the medical receptionistís file.  The bedside nurse should also keep the names on the nursing admission database form.

If the parents arenít present or cannot decide on allowed visitors and telephone information recipients upon the babyís admission, the nurse should fill out the blank rolodex card with the babyís name and take it to the medical receptionist.  The medical receptionist should then ask parents to complete the card upon their first visit.

The three individuals initially designated as information recipients by the mother cannot be changed unless special circumstances arise.  In this case, changes in the designees names should be coordinated through Social Work.

Callers to the NICU other than the mother or her 3 designees may leave their name and number, but no messages, and the medical receptionist will place this on a message board located by the nursesí station for families to check periodically.  There is also a message board in the family lounge for visitors to take names and numbers for nursery families.

If an emergency phone call comes in to the NICU, the medical receptionist will come into the nursery to notify the family and the call should be taken outside of the nursery rooms.  Only emergency calls should be transferred into the nursery during shift change.

Discussed at Collaborative Pathways Meeting 10/24/01 and revisited at Unit Board Meeting 1/02/02.

        Archived Versions: V 1.0