Beacon Award Shines Spotlight on Shapiro 9/10
The Shapiro 9/10 team gathers for a group photo with its shiny, new Beacon Award for Excellence.
Fellow BWHers have often commended Shapiro 9/10 nurses for their expertise, dedication and compassionate care, but now the 42-bed medical cardiology intermediate care unit has been recognized on a national level.
The unit was recently honored with the silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)-BWH's second such honor. Shapiro 9/10 is the first adult intermediate care unit in New England to receive the award.
The AACN commended Shapiro 9/10's "strong system" of unit leader training, "allowing growth of a culture of respect and collaboration across disciplines and among the unit." The organization also praised the unit's engagement in mentoring new staff and participating in unit-based quality initiatives. "There is clear evidence that ethical and moral issues are proactively managed, and that these processes address staff, patient and family concerns. The unit's commitment to optimal patient care is clearly demonstrated," wrote the AACN.
"The recognition speaks to the clinical expertise of the unit staff and the teamwork of nurses and support staff in caring for our patients," said Lisa Preston, RN, MSN. "Our nurses are professional, emotionally connected and dedicated. People here have told us this about our unit, but it's so rewarding for that feedback to be coming from the outside."
Added Shapiro 9/10 Nursing Director Karen Reilly, RN, BSN, MBA: "I always knew what great patient care the staff provides, so it was rewarding to have that confirmed on a national level. It has increased team pride even more."
The AACN created the Beacon Award in 2003 to recognize the nation's top pediatric, progressive and adult critical care units, representing extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, dedication to the exceptional care of patients and families and demonstration of working to improve every facet of patient care. The criteria for the award focus on patient outcomes, evidence-based practice and processes, knowledge management and best practices, effective communication, appropriate staffing and staff engagement and leadership structures and systems. In 2011, the AACN began designating a gold, silver or bronze status to award-winning units; Shapiro 9/10 received a silver designation, which represents the ongoing work and dedication of the entire staff.
"The award is a significant achievement for us," said Susan Hering, RN, BSN, PCCN, who led the efforts of compiling and organizing the 50-page award-winning application. "It acknowledges our commitment to really knowing our patients." This commitment is the core of BWH's nursing care delivery model of Relationship-Based Care.
The team began working on the application in 2010. One goal was to ensure that any of the unit's 92 nurses, patient care assistants and unit coordinators who wanted to participate in the process would have the opportunity to do so. The original application consisted of 60 questions-everything from describing the unit's environment of care and patient demographics to illustrating the scope of care the unit provides and the unit's role in its hospital's mission.
"As we were collecting responses from the team, we checked back online and noticed the process had changed," said Preston. "The questions involved the same content, but they were organized in a different way, and there were fewer of them. Karen [Reilly] was committed to ensuring that the hard work already done by our nurses was reflected in the new format. Sue [Hering]-one of our nurses-in-charge-collated and reorganized all of the existing materials to satisfy the new process."
The unit submitted its application in March 2013 and received news of its award in September.
Hering calls the entire application process rewarding and stimulating. "I learned a lot, and it was really interesting to delve into the system while researching," she said. "Our staff is very excited and proud."
The staff officially celebrated one day last month by hosting receptions for all three shifts, and with visits from Chief Nursing Officer Jackie Somerville, RN, PhD; Chief Operating Officer Mairead Hickey, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAHA, and Joan Vitello, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, FAHA, FAAN, associate chief nurse for Cardiovascular, Thoracic and Surgical Acute and Critical Care Nursing Services.
"It was definitely a team effort," Preston said. "We are thankful and excited that everything came to fruition because the unit was so invested in the entire process."
BWH's Cardiac Surgery ICU was the first Brigham unit to receive the Beacon Award in 2010. It was notified of its gold status in 2011. Shapiro 9/10 will be presented with the award at the AACN's annual conference next spring in Denver.
"This award gives outstanding recognition to the exceptional quality of nursing care that is delivered daily," Vitello said. "The true benefactors of this Beacon Award are the patients and families on Shapiro 9/10!"