CVMC receives national award for critical care
by Emily Adams
SYLACAUGA – The Intensive Care Unit at Coosa Valley Medical Center is the recipient of a Beacon Award for Excellence, the hospital announced Tuesday.

Presented by the American Association for Critical-Care Nurses, the award recognizes hospital units that distinguish themselves by improving every facet of patient care through evidence-based practices.

“We applaud the efforts of our ICU team and medical staff members for achieving a Beacon Award for Excellence,” CVMC CEO Glenn Sisk said. “It is our hope that this recognition continues to reinforce for our greater community the high level of clinical quality being delivered at Coosa Valley Medical Center every day.”

At a celebration service Tuesday, Chief Nursing and Operations Officer Amy Price said the award is the result of the hospital’s continued focus on quality care-giving.

“When we think about what we’re celebrating today, it’s centered at the heart of patient care,” Price said. “It’s focused not on winning awards or being recognized for what we do here; it’s focused on doing what is right by the patient and knowing that, ultimately, the outcome will be as it should be, and along with that comes recognition.”

CVMC is a bronze-level recipient, meaning it demonstrated success in developing, deploying and integrating unit-based performance criteria and outcomes. The hospital is one of three in the state to receive a Beacon Award, including the Cardiovascular ICU at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika and the Pediatric ICU at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, which both received silver-level distinction for continued learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care. The gold level recognizes sustained unit performance and outcomes.

The application process for the award is intensive and requires a mass of detailed information, Price said. Units are primarily evaluated based on patient outcomes, evidence-based practices, knowledge management and best practices, effective communication, appropriate staffing and staff engagement, and leadership structures and systems.

Practices that contributed to CVMC’s win include eliminating and preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia and other health care-related infections, encouraging staff participation and decreasing the mortality rate.

“I’m proud to present this award to the ICU staff for all the hard work each and every one of our staff units does,” said Quincy Leach, CVMC director of critical care and emergency services. “This award is not about perfection; it is about high reliability, and I believe that our unit at Coosa Valley has a lot of highly reliable processes in place.”

Leach challenged staff to use the Beacon Award as incentive to become even better in the future.

“I want you to celebrate this, but I also want you to take this as a fire, as a motivation to continue to strive for excellence,” he said. “To be that beacon of light on the hill that other units can look at and say, ‘I want to work in that ICU, I want to do things like that ICU does,’ because I believe we provide the best care that can be provided to our patients. Let this be a motivation for us to continue to strive for excellence, because it is a journey; it’s not an endpoint. It’s more of a starting point for us to say, we’ve attained this level of recognition, but now let’s take it one step further. Let’s be a little bit better tomorrow.”

The Beacon Award designation is active for three years.

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© 2013