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UC Davis Medical Center

UC Davis Medical Center

Award of excellence for intensive care unit

Silver-level Beacon Award from American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

hospital exterior, copyright UC Regents
UC Davis Medical Center's Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit received an excellence award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

A major nursing organization has conferred an award for excellence on UC Davis Medical Center's Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU), a specialized environment for critically ill medical/surgical patients.

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and a healthy work environment — recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN standards for a healthy work environment.

Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with gold, silver and bronze designations meet national criteria consistent with several quality programs: Magnet Recognition for nursing, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

Key achievements

Key achievements cited by the medical center's MSICU team in its application for the Beacon Award included:

  • Leadership in helping patients regain mobility — A MSICU group created the “Mobil Me” program, a project that created a class to educate nurses on the importance of intensive-care patients gaining early mobility. The training helped MSICU nurses feel more comfortable and knowledgeable about performing range-of-motion exercises with their patients and helping them improve their mobility.

  • Piloting use of barcoding program for administering medications — The MSICU was the pilot unit for the medical center's medication barcoding patient-safety program. Using barcoding equipment, nurses and respiratory therapists will scan the barcode on all medications dispensed by hospital pharmacists and match that data against the medication information contained in the patient's EMR, and on the patient's wristband. The MSICU was instrumental in the medical center’s eventual hospital-wide rollout of the program in October.

Optimizing patient outcomes

"The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes."
- AACN President Kathryn E. Roberts

AACN President Kathryn E. Roberts praised the commitment of UC Davis MSICU caregivers for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award. The MSICU’s health-care professionals join other members of the exceptional community of nurses who set the standard for optimal patient care, she said.

“The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes," Roberts said. "Units that receive this national recognition serve as a role model to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care."

The silver-level award signifies continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care. The MSICU earned its silver award by meeting the following evidence-based criteria:

  • Leadership structures and systems
  • Appropriate staffing and staff engagement
  • Effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development, best practices
  • Evidence-based practice and processes
  • Patient outcomes