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Hospital Earns Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence

Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center is proud to announce that its Critical Care Services department has received the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, an award given by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The award is specifically designated to recognize the nation’s top pediatric, progressive, and adult critical care units across a multitude of hospitals. The recognition itself is priceless, as it represents extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, and dedication to the exceptional care of patients and their families.

As a Beacon Award recipient, Memorial Hospital’s Critical Care Services department succeeded in the following areas, as measured against evidence-based national criteria:

  • Recruitment and retention
  • Education, training and mentoring
  • Research and evidence-based practice
  • Patient outcomes
  • Leadership and organization ethics
  • Healing environment

AACN applauds the efforts and success of Memorial Hospital which will now serve as a beacon for other hospitals and healthcare facilities. Beacon units are a source of inspiration for other aspiring units.

In announcing the award, Ray Snowden, Memorial Hospital’s President & CEO, stated, “I’m very proud of our Critical Care Services staff for going the extra mile in raising the level of care for our patients. This was a long and difficult application and approval process, but the result (Beacon Award) is a testament to the dedicated professionals we have working in this department. To be honored is special, but to know that we are one of only 158 critical care units recognized nationally since 2004 makes the award even more special. While we’re not the first hospital in Indiana to be honored with the award, the only other hospitals to achieve this recognition are much larger tertiary facilities in Indianapolis (Methodist and Indiana University). This recognition was driven by the staff's desire to continue “raising the bar” in improving patient care. Again, we are very proud of their achievement, but even more so for who they are and what they represent to the hospital’s mission and the communities we serve.”

Memorial Hospital’s Critical Care Services, under the direction of Kathy Burton, includes 58 registered nurses and nine support staff consisting of critical care techs and nursing assistants. Eight of the nurses are certified as critical care registered nurses (CCRN) or progressive care certified nurses (PCCN), and one has received both certifications. Critical Care Services has a unique care delivery model for critical care units providing both critical and progressive (step-down) care. Nurses are educated to deliver both levels of care within one department, so that patients do not have to be moved into a new room or department as their medical condition changes. The staff routinely scores very high (99 %) on patient satisfaction surveys.

Beacon Award units realize many benefits of having met rigid criteria for excellence, high-quality standards and exceptional care of patients and patients’ families:

  • Influence and Recognition: Units that participate in the Beacon Award process help set the standards for what constitutes an excellent acute or critical care environment through the collection of evidence-based information. Patient safety and quality programs, such as the Leapfrog Group Hospital Quality and Safety Survey, consider Beacon achievement in their evaluation process.
  • Credibility: Consumers, who are paying much closer attention today to quality-of-care factors with respect to their own healthcare, will take this level of recognition into consideration when choosing a hospital for care or treatment.
  • Recruitment and Retention: Prospective employees will recognize a Beacon Award unit as a healthy work environment, a place where quality of care is tied directly to quality of staff. Nurses who work in these units will recognize that their skills and expertise are appreciated and valued, boosting employee morale.

For more information on the Beacon Award or AACN, call (800) 899-2226. Applicants are not required to be a member of AACN to apply for the Beacon Award. Application information and requirements are available at Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence.

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