Patient Care

Cardiac, Surgical ICUs Earn Awards for Critical Care Excellence

May. 4, 2010

Two intensive care units at Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester Medical Center will be honored this month with a prestigious award that recognizes the nation’s top ICUs.

For the fourth consecutive year, Strong’s cardiac-vascular intensive care unit (CVICU/7-1600) will accept the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, and for the first time, the hospital’s surgical intensive care unit (SICU/8-3600) also will be honored.

Sponsored by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence is given to ICUs that consistently exhibit high quality standards, exceptional care of patients and families, and healthy work environments. The awards will be presented at the 2010 National Teaching Institute in Washington, D.C.

“Offering the very best care for our critically ill patients and their family members through the latest evidence-based practices is the primary goal of our team,” said Anna Lambert, R.N., M.S., associate director for cardiovascular nursing. “We are proud to be honored again.”

Each year, staff members provide specialized care on the 14-bed cardiac-vascular ICU for about 1,000 patients who are undergoing treatment for complex cardiovascular surgical and medical issues, such as advanced heart failure, which require a high level of sophisticated and coordinated care.

In addition, the CVICU houses the region’s only ICU-based Critical Care Transport Team, which operates a customized ambulance to transport critically ill cardiac patients from throughout the region to URMC. These patients are often too sick to travel by standard ambulance service and require extensive staff training and specialized equipment in order to make the several-hour trip to URMC.

On 8-3600, the 12-bed surgical ICU cares for more than 500 patients annually who require high-level treatment following vascular, thoracic, transplant and ENT surgery.

“Our unit practices an intensivist model of specialized critical care and has around-the-clock coverage with nurse practitioners and residents,” said nurse manager Joan Romano, R.N., B.S. “The team also prides itself on providing family-centered care with open visiting hours to allow full access.”

Kathy Parrinello, chief operating officer for Strong Memorial Hospital, said the recognition by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is a testament to the commitment demonstrated by the teams of 7-1600 and 8-3600. “We witness their dedication here on a daily basis and it is only fitting that they are acknowledged nationally as two of best ICUs in the United States.”