Children's Hospital Colorado

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Our pioneering neonatal program treats the smallest patients at their most vulnerable, achieving the outcomes that affect the rest of their lives.

Best Children's Hospital by U.S. News & World Report Neonatology 2021-2 Badge

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we strive to provide the best neonatal care to any newborn in the Rocky Mountain region who needs us. Neonatology telemedicine services allow us to conveniently communicate with patients’ families, and their primary providers, whether they are near or far from our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Using secure medical equipment to protect patient privacy, we make sure distance never gets in the way of the best neonatal care.

Our neonatal telehealth services allow parents to connect with their baby when they can’t be there and communicate with our caregivers about their child’s care.

Where to find our neonatal telehealth services

Patients’ families can connect with neonatal experts at our hospital on Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. In addition to phone consultations, you can request any of the neonatal telehealth services we offer by asking your NICU provider or calling 720-777-6857.

Baby Chat

We know it can be a stressful and overwhelming time for families if their baby is born prematurely or with serious medical problems and must be in the NICU. When babies are in our NICU, parents, siblings and extended family can’t always be with them as often as they would like. That’s why we created Baby Chat, a unique program that connects families with their babies in the NICU and helps promote bonding.

Research shows that babies can hear soft voices while in the womb. Hearing familiar voices after birth strengthens the bond between parents and their child because:

  • All new babies need bonding activities to help them develop and regulate their emotions.
  • Hearing familiar voices can help lower your baby’s stress hormone levels and have a positive effect on their heart rate and breathing patterns.
  • Reading or talking to your baby is beneficial to their language development at any age.

How does Baby Chat work?

Children’s Colorado’s Baby Chat uses secure, medical quality cameras and equipment to keep babies in the NICU connected with their families throughout their stay. Parents or guardians and approved visitors connect to these in-house telehealth tools using their own personal computer, tablet or smartphone.

While connected, families can talk to their baby and watch the neonatal team care for the baby. Whether mom is connecting from another room or a grandparent is checking in from another state, Baby Chat provides a channel that allows communication and bonding with your baby to continue.

It’s easy to use and set up with assistance from our team. We’ll help arrange each session through the following steps:

  • Parents who want to connect with their baby in the NICU will need an email address and a personal computer, tablet or smartphone. Children’s Colorado will provide the telehealth equipment in the NICU.
  • Parents will receive an email with instructions for Baby Chat, including how to download the free, secure app for parents using a smartphone or tablet.
  • Just before the session begins, we’ll send you an email with a link to the Baby Chat session. Simply enter your name and click “Join.”
  • Once the session starts, a Children’s Colorado NICU nurse will place the tablet on a special holder on your baby’s bassinet so you can see them. Parents can also talk with the NICU team through Baby Chat while they care for their child.

Children’s Colorado was one of the first pediatric hospitals to implement this new way of communication between parents and their babies.

Neonatal tele-discharge

When babies are ready to leave the NICU, we offer a tele-discharge to help babies and families transition smoothly to home and to their primary care provider. This is in addition to the traditional written discharge summary and allows families and their providers to ask questions of our neonatal experts.

The tele-discharge gives your baby’s primary doctor a more complete report on their health, conditions and any ongoing needs after discharge. It also helps them visualize the patient’s baseline exam and learn certain care techniques. It’s particularly helpful for families in smaller communities whose doctor may not have regular experience caring for babies with complex medical conditions.

What is neonatal tele-discharge?

This video conference typically includes you and your baby, our neonatal provider, your baby's primary care provider and any necessary subspecialists. The tele-discharge session can happen at any point before your baby leaves the NICU, or at the first appointment with your baby’s doctor.

During the session, our experts will cover:

  • Your baby’s care in the hospital
  • Your baby’s diagnoses
  • Discharge information and physical exam results
  • Medication and coordination of any follow-up care
  • Simulation of special care instructions, if needed
  • Our discharge coordinators will schedule the tele-discharge. Your baby’s doctor can also request a tele-discharge session by calling 720-777-6857.

Learn about the telehealth services we offer to referring and community providers