The Arkansas Children’s Heart Institute Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) has received a Gold-Level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), distinguishing the unit’s exceptional patient care and healthy work environments as the only pediatric CVICU in surrounding states to achieve the honor.
The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with a gold, silver or bronze designation meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.
The CVICU previously achieved Silver-Level in 2019. The ACH Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) was recognized with a second Silver-Level Beacon Award in 2021. Arkansas Children’s CVICU and PICU, both at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, are the only intensive care units in the state to be awarded Beacon honors.
“This Gold-Level Beacon Award is an excellent symbol of our team’s commitment to create a better today and healthier tomorrow for Arkansas children,” said Kris Maddalena, MSN, chief nursing officer for Arkansas Children’s Hospital. “Our CVICU team is dedicated to creating excellent patient- and family-centered care so children facing pediatric heart disease can thrive. We are especially proud that Arkansas Children’s is the only pediatric CVICU in surrounding states to achieve this distinction.”
The Gold-Level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by the CVICU signifies an effective approach to policies, procedures and processes that includes engagement of staff and key stakeholders. The unit has evaluation and improvement strategies in place and excellent performance measures when compared to relevant benchmarks.
The CVICU earned its Gold-Level Award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:
- Leadership Structures and Systems
- Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
- Effective Communication, Knowledge Management and Learning and Development
- Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
- Outcome Measurement