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APRIL 11, 2006
  Surgical Critical Care Team at HUP Earns Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence
  HUP is the Only Hospital in Pennsylvania to Achieve This Honor in Spring 2006 From the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

(Philadelphia, PA) - The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) is proud to announce that its Rhoads 5 Surgical Critical Care Team has earned the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, an award given by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) and specifically designed to recognize the nation’s top hospital critical-care units. HUP is the only hospital in Philadelphia, as well as all of Pennsylvania, to earn this recognition in Spring 2006 from the AACN, the largest specialty nursing organization in the world.

Critical care units that receive the Beacon Award have exhibited high quality standards, including exceptional care of patients and their families, as well as healthy work environments. Criteria for winning a Beacon Award include: innovation/excellence in recruitment and retention, education, training and mentoring, evidence-based practice and research, patient outcomes, creating and promoting healing environments, and leadership and organizational ethics.

George Iyoob, RN, Clinical Nurse Manager, said, “It’s exciting to be recognized at a national level for all the hard work and excellent care we provide. What makes us special is the team approach and collaborative atmosphere we work in each day and our commitment to our patients and families.”

There are more than 100 staff members, including 90 nurses, on the Rhoads 5 Surgical Critical Care Team. The team cares for critically ill trauma and post-surgical patients. On a daily basis, the primary nurses facilitate and coordinate the plan of care for patients and families, in collaboration with the healthcare team. “Our nurses do an amazing job in keeping the pieces of the puzzle together to provide the highest quality of care to our patients,” said Iyoob. “Additionally, it is so important in any ICU area that the nurses support the family, keep them informed and show them compassion, because often the unexpected has happened.”

“Our nurses act as advocates for their patients, placing themselves alongside the families,” adds Victoria Rich, PhD, RN, Chief Nursing Officer at HUP. “The same nurse takes care of the same patient. Our nurses are not rotated from bed to bed. They develop a relationship and confidence with that patient. When you combine experience with advocacy, you can’t help but win.”

Vince Gracias, MD, Medical Director of the SICU at HUP, said, “This award is a perfect example of what you can achieve when you put patients first. Our team decided to lead from ‘the bedside out.’ The care of our patients is not driven by ego. Everyone has their input, everybody works together, and it allows for a plan for patient care to be dictated by what the patient ultimately needs, giving everyone the opportunity to have impact.”

The outcomes are impressive. The average mortality rate in the Rhoads 5 SICU is about one-third of the national norm for the ICU patient population. “We get these patients through the ICU alive, when they are predicted to fail,” states Gracias.


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