HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Meritus Medical Center was one of four Maryland hospitals recently given a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
The AACN recognized successful improvement of patient outcomes and work standards and practices from the critical care staff, moving them from the bronze designation the unit received in 2013, to the new, three-year silver designation.
The Beacon Award for Excellence is a significant milestone for the mix-model hospital unit employing 54 registered nurses in its staff of 72. Primary critical care services for patients admitted by an intensivist or through trauma services are provided, and since July 2010, services began for intermediate care patients with similar diagnoses, but in a different stage of their disease.
The award nomination highlighted the unit’s teamwork approach to create great patient experiences; focused bedside handoff between nurses as a standard process; and improved outcomes and effective communication through nurses’ participation in multidisciplinary committees, a unit task force to identify areas for improvement, job shadowing, regular rounding on the unit, team building activities and the use of forums, staff meetings, huddles and mass communication for messaging.