BWH’s Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit Earns Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellen

The Beacon Awards award is specifically designated to recognize the nation’s top pediatric, progressive, and adult critical care units across a multitude of hospitals.

Online PR News – 10-June-2010 – – Boston, MA – Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit has received the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, an award given by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The award is specifically designated to recognize the nation’s top pediatric, progressive, and adult critical care units across a multitude of hospitals. BWH’s Cardiac Surgery ICU is the only adult intensive care unit in Boston to receive this prestigious award. The recognition represents extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, and dedication to the exceptional care of patients and their families.

As a Beacon Award recipient, the BWH Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit succeeded in the following areas, as measured against evidence-based national criteria:

• Recruitment and retention
• Education, training and mentoring
• Research and evidence-based practice
• Patient outcomes
• Leadership and organization ethics
• Healing environment

“This is a proud achievement for our staff. It represents our hard work and desire to improve practice and the care we provide to our cardiac surgery patients. Patients, families and staff all benefit when our goals and actions are aligned with improving the quality of care our patients receive during their time with us. The commitment to these values shared across all areas of BWH are what makes this the best place for patients to receive care,” said Matt Quin, Nursing Director of the BWH Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit.

Maria Bentain-Melanson MSN ,RN, Cardiac Surgery ICU Nurse Educator added, "The Journey to Beacon Award was an amazing experience for our staff. As we were compiling data needed for the application, we realized the high quality standards to which we hold ourselves. The award is so special because it is a testament of BWH's passion and commitment to a healthy work environment, collaboration, evidence based practice, value and respect to one another with the overall goal of providing the very best care."

Beacon Award units realize many benefits of having met rigid criteria for excellence, high-quality standards and exceptional care of patients and patients’ families:

• Influence and Recognition: Units that participate in the Beacon Award process help set the standards for what constitutes an excellent acute or critical care environment through the collection of evidence-based information. Patient safety and quality programs, such as the Leapfrog Group Hospital Quality and Safety Survey, consider Beacon achievement in their evaluation process.
• Credibility: Consumers, who are paying much closer attention today to quality-of-care factors with respect to their own healthcare, will take this level of recognition into consideration when choosing a hospital for care or treatment.
• Recruitment and Retention: Prospective employees will recognize a Beacon Award unit as a healthy work environment, a place where quality of care is tied directly to quality of staff. Nurses who work in these units will recognize that their skills and expertise are appreciated and valued, boosting employee morale.

Staff of the ICU completed a 70-plus page application form, identifying its strengths, as measured against evidence-based national criteria, in recruitment and retention; education, training and mentoring; research and evidence-based practice; patient outcomes; leadership and organization ethics; and healing environment.

Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) is a 777-bed nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a founding member of Partners HealthCare, an integrated health care delivery network. In July of 2008, the hospital opened the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, the most advanced center of its kind. BWH is committed to excellence in patient care with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery. The BWH medical preeminence dates back to 1832, and today that rich history in clinical care is coupled with its national leadership in quality improvement and patient safety initiatives and its dedication to educating and training the next generation of health care professionals. Through investigation and discovery conducted at its Biomedical Research Institute (BRI), BWH is an international leader in basic, clinical and translational research on human diseases, involving more than 860 physician-investigators and renowned biomedical scientists and faculty supported by more than $416 M in funding. BWH is also home to major landmark epidemiologic population studies, including the Nurses' and Physicians' Health Studies and the Women's Health Initiative. For more information about BWH, please visit