Nursing Organization Recognizes Orlando Health with 24 Beacon Awards of Excellence

With 24 active Beacon Awards for Excellence in nursing care – more than any other healthcare system in Florida – Orlando Health demonstrates its ongoing commitment to building patients’ trust, supporting team members and physicians, and delivering safe, effective and high-quality care.

Presented by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), the peer-reviewed designation recognizes the nation's top hospital units for their quality patient care and healthy work environments.

According to the AACN, “Beacon awardees set the standard for excellence in patient care environments by collecting and using evidence-based information to improve patient outcomes, patient and staff satisfaction, and credibility with consumers.”

“This designation speaks to our culture of safety and quality,” says Kelly Edmondson, MSN, RN, vice president of Nursing and Patient Care for Orlando Health. “Earning a Beacon Award exemplifies how our teams collaborate to deliver excellence and evidence-based care. 

“Team members arrive here, they recognize the culture and commitment, and they stay,” she says. “We support them and their dreams when it comes to caring for patients.”

Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) currently holds more than a dozen Beacon Awards, the most of any hospital in Florida. For more than a century, Orlando Health ORMC has provided advanced solutions for surgical, medical, rehabilitative and emergency care, including serving as Central Florida's only Level One Trauma Center.

Qualifying for a Beacon Award

To receive this national recognition, Orlando Health hospital units met or exceeded the nursing organization’s defined criteria for:

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

Edmondson says one example of staff engagement and leadership structure involved Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital team members who met with nursing leaders to discuss an innovative way to deliver care. In response, nursing leaders collaborated with the team to develop a new model that partners a registered nurse and a nursing assistant to care for an assigned group of patients as a team. The patients, nurses and nursing assistants have all positively responded to this new care model. The team members reported improved communication and collaboration with one nurse describing it as “having a best friend at work for 12 hours.” There are plans to scale the program to other areas of the organization.

“Leadership is adept at listening to the front line,” Edmondson says. 

Support for nurses goes beyond the clinical environment. Edmondson says Orlando Health’s well-being team is highly involved with nurses, whether it’s providing a safe place to share, strategies for managing difficult situations and even future financial planning. 

Orlando Health’s Beacon Units

Orlando Health claims nearly half of the 50 Beacon Awards presented to hospital units in Florida. These are the units currently holding this national distinction

Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center

  • Cardiac Intervention Unit
  • Cardiothoracic Step-down Unit
  • Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit
  • Intermediate Critical Care Unit
  • Medical Oncology Unit
  • Multi-System Intensive Care Unit
  • Neuro Step-Down Unit
  • Neuroscience Unit
  • Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit
  • Orthopedics Unit
  • Orthopedic Trauma Unit
  • Trauma Burn Intensive Care Unit
  • Trauma Burn Step-Down Unit
  • Vascular Surgical Step-Down Unit 

Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children

  • Pediatric Hematology Oncology Unit
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit 

Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital

  • Cardiac Progressive Care Unit 
  • Surgical Unit 

Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital

  • Critical Care Unit 
  • Intermediate Critical Care Unit 
  • Ortho-Spine Unit

Orlando Health South Lake Hospital

  • Labor and Delivery Unit

Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital

  • Intensive Care Unit

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