Princeton Health News

Center for Critical Care Earns Silver Beacon Award for Excellence

February 19, 2018
Beacon Award - Center for Critical Care
Designation signifies commitment to exceptional care, healthy work environment

The Llura & Gordon Gund Center for Critical Care at Princeton Medical Center (PMC) has received a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence, a notable quality recognition presented by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).

“Throughout the organization, we are dedicated to pursuing excellence, and the Beacon Award is the hallmark of that commitment,” said Karyn Book, Interim Vice President, Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer of Penn Medicine Princeton Health, a comprehensive system that includes PMC. “It takes teamwork and a culture of quality and patient safety to earn this recognition. Congratulations to the entire staff of the Center for Critical Care.”

The AACN—the world’s largest specialty nursing organization, representing the interests of more than a half-million acute and critical care nurses—established the Beacon Award for Excellence in 2003 to serve as a road map for units striving to improve clinical outcomes and promote greater patient satisfaction.

Three-year awards are given at the gold, silver and bronze levels to recognize units that improve patient outcomes and align their practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that receive a Beacon Award for Excellence meet quality-related criteria in:

  • Leadership structures and systems
  • Appropriate staffing and staff engagement
  • Effective communication, knowledge management and learning and development
  • Evidence-based practice and processes
  • Outcome measurement

The 24-bed Center for Critical Care at PMC is a “closed” Intensive Care Unit (ICU), meaning that the care of all patients is coordinated by staff intensivists—board certified physicians who specialize in treating critically ill patients. On the unit, patients receive extensive, round-the-clock care and monitoring by specially trained registered nurses (RNs) and support staff.

“The Beacon Award for Excellence is one of the most respected and celebrated recognitions for exceptional patient care,” said Mindy Tanpiengco, BSN, CCRN, Nurse Manager of the Center for Critical Care. “Winning this award is a huge honor, and I’m very proud of our team.”

Clinical outcomes in 2015 and 2016 (the last years for which complete data is available) exceeded national quality benchmarks in a number of areas. For example, between the 1st Quarter of 2015 and the 4th Quarter of 2016, patients experienced zero falls (with injury or otherwise), zero central-line associated bloodstream infections and zero cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia. During that same period, the center averaged 0.51 urinary tract infections per 1,000 days, significantly better than the national average of 0.99 per 1,000 days. Between the 2nd Quarter of 2015 and the 4th Quarter of 2016, patients in the center experienced zero healthcare-associated pressure ulcers as well.

The center has 60 employees, including a nurse manager, a clinical nurse leader, 47 RNs, eight patient care technicians (PCTs) and three administrative professionals. Among the RNs, 93 percent hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree—including two that also earned their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)—and a majority hold specialized CCRN® (Critical Care RN) certification. The center’s work is supported by staff from a wide array of disciplines, including respiratory therapy, pharmacy, radiology, laboratory services, dietary, pastoral care, social services, care coordination and environmental services.

PMC, formerly known as University Medical Center of Princeton, is a University Hospital Affiliate of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a Best Regional Hospital, ranking among New Jersey’s top 10 hospitals and the top 20 in the New York metropolitan region for three consecutive years. PMC also holds Magnet® status, the highest institutional recognition available for nursing excellence.

About Penn Medicine Princeton Health
Penn Medicine Princeton Health is one of the most comprehensive healthcare systems in New Jersey, providing acute care hospital services through Princeton Medical Center; behavioral healthcare through Princeton House Behavioral Health; in-home nursing, rehabilitation and hospice care through Princeton HomeCare; primary and specialty care through Princeton Medicine Physicians; ambulatory surgery and wellness services. For more information, visit Penn Medicine Princeton Health is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), which, together with the University of Pennsylvania’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, forms Penn Medicine, one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research and excellence in patient care.

Andy Williams, 609-252-8785

Recent News