Award-Winning Critical Care

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MICU Receives Prestigious Beacon Award

by Sara Michael

The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) has received the prestigious Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, recognizing the unit’s strength in patient care, outcomes, and professional practice.

The MICU is the first unit at the hospital to receive the national award, given by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Pamela Bollinger, MS, RN, nurse manager for the MICU, noted that the award recognized practices already in place in the unit. “This wasn’t an activity where we started new work,” she said. “It speaks to the strength of the unit and how proactive we are.”

The extensive application process took a lot of organization among the unit, and Shilta Subhas, MS, RN, credited the unit’s leadership for their hard work. Bollinger and Subhas also acknowledged the MICU’s Jocalyn Embrey, RN, as the champion for the effort.

“It took a lot of organization,” Subhas said. “We’re lucky that we’re in a unit where we have a great leadership group.”

The MICU was particularly strong in several areas, including its peer-review process. The unit was a leader in developing such an extensive process and initiating it hospital-wide.

The unit also has strong interdisciplinary teamwork between nurses and physicians, Bollinger said, which improves patient outcomes. When it came to areas that could use improvement, she mentioned the need for more specialty certifications, which the unit is encouraging by offering reimbursement to nurses to take the critical-care registered nurse exams,
for example.

“We’re definitely encouraging that,” Bollinger said. “We’re making progress.”

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