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Akron Children’s PICU receives national award of excellence

03-05-2019 (Akron, Ohio )

Akron Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) was recently awarded The Beacon Gold Award for Excellence by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

Akron Children’s is currently the only PICU in the state of Ohio and one of 13 nationally to achieve gold recognition. The designation is effective for three years. Previously, the hospital earned silver status.

Established in 2003, AACN’s award recognizes top U.S. hospital units that meet standards of excellence in recruitment and retention; education, training and mentoring; research and evidence-based practice; patient outcomes; leadership and organizational ethics; and creation of a healthy work environment. Award criteria — which measure systems, outcomes and environments against evidence-based national criteria for excellence — provide a mechanism to initiate patient safety efforts.

Recipients of a Gold-level Beacon Award demonstrate staff-driven excellence in sustained unit performance and improved patient outcomes that exceed national benchmarks. For patients and their families, the award signifies exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall satisfaction.

“As an organization we have gotten better at collecting, measuring and analyzing data and that allowed us to tell more of our story – both the problems and solutions,” said Melanie Brewster, clinical coordinator. “Akron Children’s patient outcomes showed fewer central line associated blood stream infections, catheter associated urinary tract infections, ventilator associated pneumonia, and unplanned extubations when using national benchmark comparisons.”

For nurses, a Beacon Award can mean a positive and supportive work environment with greater collaboration between colleagues and leaders, higher morale and lower turnover. Nurses who work in organizations and units that meet a national standard for excellence consistently report healthier work environments and express higher satisfaction with their job.

“We are a collaborative unit and achieving this award was a group effort,” said Brewster. “We take a multidisciplinary approach to problems and solutions which helps cultivate a healthy and enjoyable work environment.”

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