UofL Hospital
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A unit at University of Louisville Hospital has been nationally recognized for exceptional patient care, earning the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Beacon recipients meet high standards for patient care by collecting and using evidence-based information to improve outcomes, patient and staff satisfaction and credibility with consumers, according to AACN.

UofL Hospital’s 5 South Unit – a 16-bed mixed acuity unit that provides comprehensive and complex care to surgical, trauma, medical and cancer patients – received the bronze level designation, which is in place for three years.

“The unit has great patient satisfaction and outcomes, great nursing engagement and our retention rate of nursing staff is high,” said Cathy Barth, RN, interim director of mixed acuity units at UofL Hospital. “The award speaks to the collaborative culture of the unit, how the nurses work together as a team and the high level of best care practices demonstrated.”

UofL Hospital is one of only four facilities in Kentucky with a unit that currently has a Beacon designation.

For staff recruiting and retention, the award signifies a positive and supportive work environment with exceptional collaboration among colleagues and leaders, high morale and low turnover, according to AACN.

“Recipients of the Beacon Award set the standard for excellence in health care,” said Shari Kretzschmer, RN, MSN, MBA, NEA-BC, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at UofL Hospital and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. “As an academic hospital, our nursing staff and providers are not only dedicated to high-level patient care, but are enthusiastic about improving patient outcomes and patient and staff satisfaction using evidence-based practices. Receiving this award emphasizes the importance of our academic and patient-centered care mission.”