National three-year award with gold, silver, bronze designations marks a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and achieving a healthy work environment
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently presented a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence to the Intensive Care Unit at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center (UM UCMC).
The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards.
Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with gold, silver or bronze designations meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.
“We are so honored to have our Intensive Care Unit recognized with a gold-level Beacon Award,” said Lyle E. Sheldon, FACHE, president/CEO of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. “Our team members provide exceptional patient care every single day. To have the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recognize their commitment to excellence with a gold-level Beacon Award is a significant honor.”
AACN President Clareen Wiencek, RN, PhD, ACNP, ACHPN, applauds the commitment of the caregivers at the Intensive Care Unit at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence. These dedicated health care professionals join other members of the exceptional community of nurses who set the standard for optimal patient care.
“The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care,” she explains.
The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by the Intensive Care Unit at UM UCMC signifies excellent and sustained unit performance and patient outcomes. The Intensive Care Unit at UM UCMC earned a gold award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:
- Leadership structures and systems
- Appropriate staffing and staff engagement
- Effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development
- Evidence-based practice and processes
- Outcome measurement
Other Beacon Award designations include bronze and silver. Recipients who earn a bronze-level award demonstrate success in developing, deploying and integrating unit-based performance criteria for optimal outcomes; silver-level awardees demonstrate continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care.
AACN honors the Intensive Care Unit at UM UCMC and other Beacon Award for Excellence recipients with announcements in AACN Bold Voices, the monthly award-winning member magazine distributed to more than 100,000 acute and critical care nurses nationwide. AACN also honors awardees at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families.
Established in 2003, the Beacon Award for Excellence offers a road map to help guide exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall patient satisfaction. U.S. or Canadian units where patients receive their principal nursing care after hospital admission qualify for this excellence award. Units that receive the Beacon Award for Excellence meet criteria in six categories: leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement. To learn more, visit www.aacn.org/beacon.
About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a health care system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. To learn more about AACN, visit www.aacn.org, connect with the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aacnface or follow AACN on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aacnme.
About University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health
In December 2013, Upper Chesapeake Health became University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. It consists of the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and the Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center in Bel Air and the University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace. The leading health care system and largest private employer in Harford County, UM Upper Chesapeake Health offers a broad range of health care services, technology and facilities to the residents of northeastern Maryland. Visit www.umuch.org for more information.