Ben Taub Hospital Surgical Unit Garners National Award for Patient Care
Known for its life-saving care, the surgical intermediate care unit at Harris Health System’s Ben Taub Hospital now has the distinction of being one of two intermediate units in Houston, and one of three in Texas, to receive the Beacon Award (Silver Level) for Excellence in patient care by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
“The award is testament of our excellent patient care in a unit where we’ve created a culture of safety, patient-centric care, effective communication and a supporting work environment for physicians, nurses and allied health professionals,” says Mary Kurian, administrative director, Nursing, Trauma and Critical Care Services, Ben Taub Hospital.
The Beacon award is a three-year recognition for the hospital. Of approximately 30,000 patient-care units in 5,700 hospitals in the United States, only 329 units are currently recognized and only 45 intermediate care units are designated nationwide.
The neurosurgical intensive care unit at Ben Taub Hospital is already a recipient of the Beacon award. However, the newest recognition is a rarity among intermediate care units. The surgical intermediate care unit is a 34-bed unit that provides care and close monitoring of adult patients for a variety of ailments including general surgery, neurosurgery, thoracic surgery and surgical subspecialties, such as orthopedics and urology. The unit also accommodates patients with medical and cardiology issues. In one of the nation’s busiest Level 1 trauma centers, the unit admits a large number of trauma-related cases resulting from falls, gunshot or stab wounds, automobile and motorcycle crashes.
“This award really reflects on our staff’s involvement and each member making decisions for the betterment of our unit and, ultimately, the best possible care for patients in our community,” says Sibil George, nurse clinical manager, Surgical Intermediate Care Unit, Ben Taub Hospital.
To receive the award, staff had to meet rigorous measures and demonstrate consistent high marks in patient outcomes. Additionally, unit staff had to demonstrate a high-level of collaboration with various disciplines including physicians, nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists, social workers, radiologists, among others.
“The Beacon award represents excellence in every aspect of patient care,” says Glenn Gilbert, director of nursing, Surgical Intermediate Care Unit and Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit, Ben Taub Hospital.
The association uses a 1,000-point grading system that weighs information submitted to national agencies like the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. An examination of data must show that the unit exceeded national averages for two years or longer. Additionally, winners must demonstrate a healthy work environment, outstanding leadership, high-level employee engagement and evidence-based practices.