SPRINGFIELD – Baystate Medical Center has one of the top hospital critical care units, according to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).
The Adult Intensive Care Unit was awarded the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence in May. Baystate’s ICU is one of only four critical care units in the country, and the only in New England, to receive the award out of a field of 76 ICUs that applied.
This is the first year the award was given.
Baystate’s Adult ICU was recognized for exhibiting high-quality standards, for exceptional care of patients and their families, and for fostering and maintaining a healthy work environment.
“Throughout AACN’s history, our members have led and participated in the journey toward excellence in their individual workplaces. Yet, we never had a way to formally recognize critical care nursing units who achieve the highest outcomes,” said Wanda Johanson, RN, MN, chief executive officer, AACN.
“A beacon is defined in several ways,” said Dorrie Fontaine, RN, MSN, DNSc, FAAN, president, AACN. “A beacon can be a source of light, an inspiration, or a sign of guidance. Each unit that earns this award will have demonstrated this, or many examples of this, to their peers and colleagues.”
Included in the criteria for winning a Beacon Award are innovative/excellence in recruitment and retention, education, training and mentoring, evidence-based practice and research, patient outcomes, creating and promoting healing environments, and leadership and organizational ethics.
“I am so pleased that the work of Baystate’s ICU staff nurses, nursing leadership and the entire team has been recognized by the AACN – an organization that sets the standards for critical care nursing. The outstanding work of our patient care team has made Baystate a national leader in critical care,” said Trish Hannon, chief operating office of Baystate Medical Center.
Diane Thomas, BSN, RN, assistant nurse manager in the ICU, said applying for the Beacon Award was an opportunity to showcase what nursing does every day for every patient in the Baystate ICU. “The focus is the staff nurse and the care they provide and the support they get,” she said.
Thomas prepared the Beacon Award application with her colleagues, ICU nurse manager Sheila Elliott, MBA, BSN; clinical nurse specialist Paula Lusardi RN, PhD; and ICU nurse educator Sue Scott, BSN, RN. They answered 42 questions about the unit ranging from retention of nurses to evidence-based research to patient outcomes.
The American Association of Critical Care Nurses is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world with 65,000 members. Founded in 1969, the association now has more than 250 chapters worldwide.