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Intensive Care at FMH: A Beacon of Excellence


Some members of Frederick Memorial Hospital’s award-winning Intensive Care Unit team from L-R: Sarah Sowers, Laura Jackson, Lisa Spencer-Smith, Pat Sprankle, Sue Archer, Leslie Stine, Cheryl Cioffi, and Jennifer Kramer.

Frederick Memorial Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit has earned the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. This national recognition honors units that have distinguished themselves by improving every facet of patient care.

“Beacon awardees set the standard for innovation in staff recruitment, education and mentoring, and excellence in patient care,” said ICU Manager Jennifer Kramer, MSN, RN. We are honored to share this award status with well-known regional medical centers such as Children’s National, Johns Hopkins, Maryland Shock Trauma, and MedStar Georgetown’s Medical Intensive Care Unit.”

According to Kramer, Beacon status specifically reflects a unit’s commitment to evidence-based practice and research, excellent patient outcomes, creating a healing environment, ethical leadership and innovation, as well as excellence in nursing recruitment, retention, education, training, and mentoring.

Daily Multidisciplinary Rounding

Because patients on the FMH ICU require extensive care and constant monitoring, each is seen daily by a multidisciplinary team that includes nurses, a critical care pharmacist, respiratory therapist, rehabilitation team, performance improvement specialist, chaplain resident, case manager, a dietician, and other practitioners when appropriate.

Innovative Initiatives

The Beacon Award reviewers gave the FMH ICU high marks for innovation. One example sited was the unit’s role in reshaping the duties of the hospital’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) nurses. In addition to responding to critical events at patients’ bedsides throughout the hospital, Frederick Memorial’s RRT-QC nurses directly contribute to hospital-wide patient safety initiatives and assist with documentation and compliance with standards.

In response to the growing opiate epidemic, the ICU team formed a group called C.O.P.E., an opiate awareness and substance abuse prevention program.

“To be recognized by the Association of Critical-Care Nurses with its Beacon Award for Excellence is a testament to our team’s collaboration and hard work,” said Kramer. “We are beyond proud to bring this high level of quality care to Frederick.”