Merge™ for Health Systems

Does your hospital have a growing number of high-risk births and not enough beds to care for critically ill babies?

We can help.


Merge™ is a clinical trial and real-world validated model of family integrated care (FICare) for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Health care provider roles broaden with a focus on educating and supporting parents as they gain knowledge, skills, and confidence in care of their baby.

A standardized implementation process supports operationalization to increase fidelity to this model of FICare and ensure desired outcomes. With Merge™, parents are less stressed and more confident, babies go home sooner, and hospitals avoid costs



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.


We provide brief, interactive training for multidisciplinary health care 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.

Standardized Implementation

Our proprietary processes guide installation, design, audit, and support. Fidelity audits inform how to strengthen and sustain Merge™ family integrated care practices to obtain desired outcomes and avoid cost overruns. 

Our experts provide consultation throughout implementation, including on the design of dashboards to provide near real-time measurement of outcomes.

Tools & Strategies to Integrate Families in Neonatal Care

  • Actionable and adaptable model of family integrated care with tools & strategies for all health care providers
  • Health care providers complete online training to enhance trusting relationships with families and negotiate family-provider roles to enhance family satisfaction and experience in the NICU

Evidence Based

  • Reduced parental stress
  • Increased parenting confidence
  • Reduced infant hospital length of stay by 2.55 days
  • Avoided costs for the health system

Implementation Support

  • 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

Interactive Training and Resources

  • Two levels of eLearning for the multidisciplinary team
  • Providers earn Continuing Nurse Education or Maintenance of Competency (MOC; RCPSC members) credits with Merge™ eLearning
  • Embed eLearning in your organization’s Learning Management System for quick access using single sign on
  • Resources to support adoption into practice

Sustain Practice and Reproduce Outcomes With Audit and Feedback

  • On-site fidelity assessments of Merge™ practices identify and target opportunities to strengthen implementation
  • Fidelity assessments support sustainability and return on investment
Exploratory Assessment

Do it Yourself

  • Baseline assessment*
  • Bulk training and certifications
  • Installation
  • Self-audit

*Must be conducted by a Merge Specialist

White Glove Service

    • Baseline assessment
    • Bulk training and certifications
    • Installation
    • Audit
    • Support
    • Operational and evaluation consultation
  1. Zanoni, P., Scime, N.V., Benzies, K., McNeil, D.A., Mrklas K., and the Alberta FICare in Level II NICU Study Team. Facilitators and barriers to implementation of Alberta Family Integrated Care (FICare) in level II neonatal intensive care units: a qualitative process evaluation substudy of a multicentre cluster-randomised controlled trial using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. BMJ Open. 2021;11:e054938.
  2. Benzies, K. M., Aziz, K., Shah, V., 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, November 20). Effectiveness of Alberta Family Integrated Care (FICare) in Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) on infant and maternal outcomes: a provincial, pragmatic, cluster randomized controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics, 20:535.
  3. 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.
  4. Benzies, K. (2016). Relational communications strategies to support family centered neonatal intensive care. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 30(3), 233-236.

Explore the potential of Merge for NICU in your organization, connect with us at

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