The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recognizes 98 units from 78 hospitals nationwide that earned the Beacon Award for Excellence between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2012.
The Beacon Award for Excellence lauds hospital units that employ evidence-based practices to improve patient and family outcomes. The Beacon Award provides Gold, Silver and Bronze levels of recognition to hospital units that exemplify excellence in professional practice, patient care and outcomes. Recognition continues for three years before units can reapply.
Beacon-designated units meet criteria in five categories that are consistent with criteria for national awards, including Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and National Quality Healthcare Award. Units that receive the award demonstrate practices that align with AACN's Healthy Work Environment Standards for optimal care.
Recipients of a Gold Beacon Award demonstrate staff-driven excellence in sustained unit performance, improvement and patient outcomes that exceed national benchmarks. Silver-level recipients demonstrate continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care. Bronze-level awardees demonstrate success in developing, deploying and integrating unit-based performance criteria for optimal outcomes.
Among the 29 units receiving the Beacon Award's highest distinction, units at Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C., Miami Children's Hospital and The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, N.J., received multiple Gold awards. Multiple units within eight additional hospitals were honored with an award, demonstrating excellence in caring for high acuity and critically ill patients and their families.
AACN President Kathryn Roberts, RN, MSN, CNS, CCRN, CCNS, a clinical nurse specialist in the pediatric ICU at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, praises the exemplary efforts of the unit caregivers who achieved the Beacon Award for Excellence.
"The caregivers in these units are healthcare professionals committed to the best in patient care," Roberts said. "The fact that 29 units have achieved Gold status and almost 100 units met the stringent criteria for the Beacon Award for Excellence in the last year shows the commitment of the caregivers and their hospitals to work together to achieve evidence-based excellence in recruitment, retention, training and mentoring."
Roberts adds that the growth of the Beacon Award for Excellence since the program was reconceived in 2010 is encouraging.
"Nearly 150 units have received the award over the last two years, which is a testament to both the importance that hospital units across the country place on achieving standards of excellence and the value of being recognized for their efforts," she said.
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses