Merge™ for Health Systems
Help make parents part of the care team
Merge™ is a clinical trial and real-world validated model of family integrated care (FICare) for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). With our certified eLearning modules, healthcare providers are trained to educate and support parents to be part of the NICU care team. A standardized process supports your NICU to adopt Merge. With Merge™, parents are less stressed and more confident, babies go home sooner, and hospitals avoid costs.
Merge for Healthcare Systems:
A Unit-wide model for FICare quality improvement
Step 1: Assessment
Given variability in care, our quality improvement process begins with a baseline assessment in the NICU to identify gaps between current family centered and desired FICare practices. This informs customized implementation to fit the priorities and capacity of each hospital.
e-Learning & Certification
We provide concise, interactive training for multidisciplinary healthcare providers and unit clerks about relational communication, standardized parent education, and family support.
Access training for staff through our eLearning platform or embed it within your organization’s learning management system.
Step 3: Sustainability
Our processes guide installation, design, audit, and support. Fidelity audits inform how to strengthen and sustain Merge™ family integrated care practices in your unit to obtain desired outcomes and avoid cost.
Our experts provide consultation for healthcare systems. We guide your facility throughout implementation, including on the design of dashboards to provide near real-time outcome measuring.
Given variability in care, our process begins with a baseline assessment in the NICU to identify gaps between current family centered and desired FICare practices. This informs customized implementation to fit the priorities and capacity of each NICU.
We provide brief, online, interactive training for multidisciplinary healthcare providers and unit clerks about relational communication, parent education, and parent support.
Staff access training through our eLearning platform or your organization’s learning management system.
We guide installation, design, audit, and support. Fidelity audits inform how to strengthen and sustain Merge™ practices to obtain desired outcomes and avoid cost overruns.
We walk through every step of the way, including on the design of dashboards to provide near real-time measurement of outcomes.
Do it Yourself:
- Baseline assessment*
- Bulk team training and certifications
- Installation of tools and software
(*must be conducted by a MergeTM Specialist)
White Glove Service:
- All of the options under the “Do it Yourself” product, plus:
- Consultation and support
Tools and Strategies to Integrate Families in Neonatal Care
- Actionable and adaptable model of family integrated care with tools and strategies for all healthcare providers
- Healthcare providers complete online modules to strengthen relational communications, parent education, and psychosocial support
- Practical tools support healthcare providers to strengthen family integrated care practices
- Reduced parental stress
- Increased parenting confidence
- Reduced infant hospital length of stay by 2.55 days
- Avoided costs for the health system
- Our experts conduct a baseline assessment to evaluate local context and assess current gaps to practice of Merge™
- Consultation to inform sequence of implementation and options for customization
- Two levels of eLearning for healthcare providers; modules for unit clerks
- Embed eLearning in your organization’s learning management system for quick access using single sign on
What’s in it for staff?
- Providers earn Continuing Nurse Education or Maintenance of Competency credits (MOC; RCPSC members)
- Continuing professional development
Quarterly Fidelity identify opportunities to strengthen Merge™ practices
- Fidelity assessments support sustainability and return on investment
Do it Yourself
- Baseline assessment*
- Bulk training and certifications
*Must be conducted by a Merge™ Specialist
White Glove Service
- Baseline assessment
- Bulk training and certifications
- Operational and evaluation consultation
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- *Shafey, A., Benzies, K., Amin, R., Stelfox, H. T., & Shah, V. (2022). Fathers’ experiences in Alberta Family Integrated Care: A qualitative study. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 36(4), 371-379. https://doi.org/10.1097/JPN.0000000000000684
- *Ringham, C., McNeil, D., & Benzies, K. M. (2022). The work of mothering in the NICU: A critical analysis of Alberta Family Integrated Care parent journals. Advances in Neonatal Care, 22(4), E112-E119. https://doi.org/10.1097/ANC.0000000000000984
- *Dien, R., Benzies, K. M., Zanoni, P., & Kurilova, J. (2022). Alberta Family Integrated Care™ and standard care: A qualitative study of mothers’ experiences of their journeying to home from the neonatal intensive care unit. Global Journal of Qualitative Research, 9, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1177/23333936221097113
- *Moe, A., Kurilova, J., Afzal, A., & Benzies, K. M. (2022). Effects of Alberta Family Integrated Care (FICare) on preterm infant development: Two studies at 2 months and between 6 and 24 months corrected age. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 11, 1684. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11061684
- *Murphy, M., Shah, V., & Benzies, K. M. (2021). Effectiveness of Alberta Family Integrated Care on Neonatal Outcomes: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10, 5871. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10245871
- Zanoni, P., *Scime, N. V., Benzies, K. M., McNeil, D. A., Mrklas, K. (2021). Facilitators and barriers to implementation of Alberta Family Integrated Care (FICare) in Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU): A qualitative process evaluation sub-study of a multi-centre cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). BMJ Open, 11, e054938.https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-054938
- McNeil, D.A., Benzies, K. M., Zanoni, P., Kurilova. J. (2021). Alberta Family Integrated Care (FICare)™: From engaged clinicians in a cluster randomized controlled trial to health system partnership in scale and spread across a province. In: McCutcheon C, Reszel J, Kothari A, Graham ID, editors. How We Work Together: The Integrated Knowledge Translation Research Network Casebook. Volume 4, 16-19. Ottawa, ON: Integrated Knowledge Translation Research Network. Available from: https://iktrn.ohri.ca/projects/casebook/
- Benzies, K. M., Aziz, K., Shah, V., Faris, P., Isaranuwatchai, W., Scotland, J. Larocque, J., Mrklas, K. J., Naugler, C., Stelfox, H. T., Chari, R., Soraisham, A., Akierman, A. R., Phillipos, E., Amin, H., Hoch, J., Zanoni, P., Kurilova, J., Lodha, A., and the Alberta Family Integrated Care (FICare) Team. (2020). Effectiveness of Alberta Family Integrated Care on infant length of stay in Level II neonatal intensive care units: A cluster randomized controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics, 20, 535. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-020-02438-6
Benzies, K., Shah, V., Aziz, K., Lodha, A., & Misfeldt, R. (2019). The health care system is making ‘too much noise’ to provide family-centred care in neonatal intensive care units: Perspectives of health care providers and hospital administrators. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 60, 44-53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iccn.2018.05.001