AACN Beacon Excellence AwardThe Intensive Care Unit at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center and its team were recently awarded a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with a gold, silver or bronze designation meet national criteria consistent with the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

“We are extremely grateful to have been recognized by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses for this prestigious award,” says Brandi Cassingham, chief nursing officer, MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center. “Caring for our community is our calling, and underscores MemorialCare’s relentless commitment to patient safety and family-centered care. I’m extremely humble and proud of the outstanding dedication our Intensive Care Unit team displays every day.”

Amanda Bettencourt, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., C.C.R.N-K., A.C.C.N.S-P., president, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, applauds the commitment of the caregivers in the Intensive Care Unit at Saddleback Medical Center for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence. These dedicated healthcare professionals join other members of our exceptional community of nurses, who set the standard for optimal patient care.

“Being recognized as a Beacon unit, especially while working to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, underscores the team’s ongoing commitment to providing safe, patient-centered and evidence-based care to patients and families,” Bettencourt explained. “Achieving this award is an honor, and the team should be proud of setting such a high standard in patient care and positive patient outcomes,” Bettencourt added.

The silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by the Intensive Care Unit at Saddleback Medical Center signifies an effective approach to policies, procedures and processes that includes engagement of staff and key stakeholders. The unit has evaluation and improvement strategies in place and good performance measures when compared to relevant benchmarks. The Intensive Care Unit at Saddleback Medical Center earned its silver award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:

  • Leadership Structures and Systems
  • Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
  • Effective Communication, Knowledge Management and Learning and Development
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Outcome Measurement

“We know, when a family member is in the intensive care unit, it can be an overwhelming time, We do everything in our power to make families feel inclusive, supported, and the confidence that we provide the highest quality care to their loved one.”

Brandi Cassingham