TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center has added six NICVIEW web streaming cameras to its NICU, allowing parents and families to view their babies through a secure, password-protected livestream video system.

Each NICVIEW streaming camera system positioned above the infant's bassinet allows families to view their babies 24/7 through streaming images that travel securely with up to 256-bit SSL encryption. The technology also allows nurses to capture notes about the newborn's care for mom and dads to review as they check-in on their baby.

"One of the hardest things for a parent of a NICU baby to do is to leave them at the hospital when it's time for mom to go home," said Stephanie Elsten, RN, NICU Nurse Manager at TriStar Hendersonville. "This new technology allows moms and dads and other family members to check-in on their baby at any time from a computer, tablet or smartphone. It's is an excellent use of technology to improve the family's bonding experience with their newborn."

The NICU at TriStar Hendersonville treats newborns who need additional care in their first days, weeks or months of life due to premature birth or complications that arise after delivery. The hospital also provides neonatal transport services through TriStar Health, of which TriStar Hendersonville is a part, allowing critically ill newborns throughout Middle Tennessee convenient access to the highly specialized care available in the NICU at TriStar Hendersonville.

Even though the NICU at TriStar Hendersonville offers private rooms with sleeping accommodations for parents, it is still difficult for many parents to stay with their baby 24 hours a day. Many NICU families must travel long distances from their homes to visit their newborns or have additional children at home to care for, which may limit the amount of time they can spend with their babies. The NICVIEW cameras are especially important for these families, allowing them a new and convenient option to stay connected and close to their child.

Cajun and Brandon McJilton have appreciated the opportunity to use this new technology to see their newborn son, Conlan, when they cannot be with him at the NICU at TriStar Hendersonville.

"For a mom who didn't have to leave my first child for his first nine months, having to leave Conlan at the hospital has been hard," said Cajun McJilton. "Having the NICVIEW camera in place before we left the hospital made it easier for me to leave, because I knew I could see him again soon on my phone or from my home computer. I still feel near to him when I can't be right there with him."

McJilton also referenced how the NICVIEW cameras have helped with breastfeeding.

"It's groundbreaking to have this kind of technology to help me when I'm pumping milk for Conlan from home," McJilton added. "It's like he's right there with me. Even though I'm only four exits away from the hospital, I can only get to the hospital two times a day, so it helps me to be able to see him any time I'm pumping milk for him."

The addition of the six NICVIEW cameras at TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center was part of a multi-hospital installation of 75 NICVIEW cameras across the NICU's of TriStar Health in January.