Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s cardio-thoracic intensive care unit (56ICU) was the first in Missouri to receive the Beacon Award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Only 188 critical care units out of 6,000 in the United States have received the award.
The honor recognizes critical care excellence and dedication to the exceptional care of patients and families. The 56ICU succeeded in areas such as retention and patient outcomes. One detail that set the unit apart was the internal education in topics including the evolving field of implantable VADs.
"It’s a reflection on the hospital as a whole," says Elaine Thomas-Horton, RN, clinical nurse manager of 56ICU.
"Without the framework and support of many throughout the hospital, such as the Center for Practice Excellence, this would not be possible."
The unit also is the newest ICU at the hospital, and staff nurses were involved in the design of the unit. Large rooms with abundant daylight and room for families promote a healing environment. A unit-based chaplain and social worker help to ensure the staff considers all aspects of each patient’s care.