PICU Beacon AwardThe St. Louis Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) earned a national silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). It’s the only ICU in Missouri—pediatric or adult—to earn the honor in 2015.

The three-year designation marks a significant milestone in achieving exceptional patient care and a healthy work environment. To achieve the award, units must meet evidence-based national criteria consistent with:

  • Magnet Recognition
  • The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
  • The National Quality Healthcare Award

“This award is recognition that every day as a team we go ‘above and beyond’ to give the best care possible for our patients and their families,” says Washington University critical care medicine physician Matthew Goldsmith, MD, medical director, pediatric ICU. “They’re going through some of the most difficult times in their lives, and we owe it to them to continuously improve in everything we do.”

For nurses, a Beacon Award signals a positive and supportive work environment with:

  • Greater collaboration between colleagues and leaders
  • Higher morale
  • Lower turnover

“To have the right environment for patients, you have to have the right environment for staff,” says Cindy Brooks, MSN, RN, NE-BC, director, pediatric intensive services. “We’re proud of our team for this landmark achievement in providing a superior patient experience. We’re also proud as a hospital to have received our third consecutive Magnet designation for nursing excellence this year. Only about 100 hospitals nationally have achieved three consecutive Magnet honors.”

The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes acute and critical care nursing units that achieve the highest-quality outcomes. Applicants are rated on factors including:

  • Nurse recruitment and retention
  • Evidence-based practice and research
  • Staff training
  • Patient outcomes
  • Healthy work environments
  • Leadership

The Beacon Award is presented twice a year and is available for Critical Care, Progressive Care and Pediatric Critical Care units.

AACN President Terri Lynn Kiss, RN, MS, MSSW, CNML, CMSRN, applauded the SLCH pediatric ICU. She says the award “recognizes stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes.”

Awarded at bronze, silver and gold levels, the Beacon Award was developed in 2003 to recognize intensive care units that provide exemplary care resulting in excellent patient outcomes and satisfaction. SLCH received the silver designation, demonstrating “sustained continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care.”