Background: This paper discusses engaging World Café Methodology (WCM) during the design process when building a world class Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The NICU World Café was held to consider the requirements needed to support a philosophy of family centred care acknowledging the needs of neonates, families and staff.
Method: A NICU World Café was conducted with the aim to engage stakeholders in the design of a new NICU. World Café Methodology is an integrated set of principles for hosting conversations that matter. Stakeholders converse with Café experts regarding the question of the Café from which a collective knowledge evolves to answer the Café question.
Results: The NICU World Café stakeholders identified a core group of requirements essential to creating a functional NICU: flexibility, visibility, privacy, skills, safety and sense of community. Stakeholders resolved these requirements could be applied most effectively in both two and single cot rooms, detailing their recommendations for the architects.
Conclusion: World Café Methodology facilitated stakeholders' exposure to a variety of opinions and new information regarding the NICU's new design. Applying WCM principles allowed stakeholders to focus on the key issues and find answers to their question.