Hospital unit first in state to receive PRISM Award

July 12, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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Unit 8C in University Hospital recently became the first unit in the state of Michigan to receive the distinguished PRISM Award for its dedication to creating and sustaining a healthy work environment for staff and providing exemplary care for patients.

Co-sponsored by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB), the PRISM Award — which stands for Premier Recognition In the Specialty of Med-surg — was developed as a way to identify and celebrate medical-surgical units that achieve sustained excellence through effective leadership, recruitment and retention of competent staff members, utilizing evidence-based practices, achieving positive patient outcomes, creating a healthy practice environment, and fostering lifelong learning of unit staff members.

Highlighting the work of the team

LaToya Freeman, D.N.P., APRN, ACCNS-AG, PCCN, clinical nurse specialist for 8C and the medical short stay unit (MSSU), completed and submitted the 50-page application on behalf of the unit.

In the application, Freeman shared information about the unit’s efforts to improve patient safety and experience through K-card rounds used to evaluate safety compliance related to hospital acquired conditions like pressure injuries and central line and catheter associated infections, as well as falls. Since implementing K-card rounds two years ago, the unit has seen a significant reduction in the number of pressure injuries each year.

The 8C Unit-Based Committee, or UBC, implemented a “no pass zone” protocol focused on improving patient care and experience by encouraging nurses to treat every patient as their own and having staff respond to all call lights, regardless of who is assigned to the patient.

The unit has a holistic room and launched a “code lavender” initiative to help boost morale and prevent nurse fatigue and burnout. Evidence-based interventions like aromatherapy, inspirational quotes, a massage chair and chocolate are used to create moments for staff to pause and recharge.

“This award is an honor and a great way to celebrate the excellence of care that’s provided here on 8C,” said Freeman. “Despite the pandemic, the unit has been able to continue to provide safe and efficient care and keep patients as our number one priority.”

Well-deserved recognition

Unit leaders and staff, hospital and health system leaders and representatives from AMSN gathered together for a formal presentation of the award on Zoom at the end of June.

Marisa Streelman, a staff specialist with the nursing leadership team at Michigan Medicine, certified medical-surgical registered nurse (CMSRN), and director on the AMSN Board of Directors, presented the award to the 8C team during the AMSN-hosted award ceremony.

“You have a lot to be proud of,” Steelman said to unit leaders and staff. “What a significant accomplishment of exemplary nursing practice, within your unit and at your hospital! You are all a shining example for others.”

“I want to congratulate everyone in the unit for the exemplary work, and for demonstrating the qualities that are criteria for the PRISM award and also the basis for the highest practice in nursing,” said David C. Miller, M.D., M.P.H., U-M Health System president and executive vice dean for clinical affairs, during the award presentation. “Your work has been tremendous, and I know these high standards will continue in the future with this great team and leadership.”

Nancy May, DNP, RN-BC, NEA-BC, chief nurse executive for U-M Health System, also spoke during the ceremony.

“The significance of the PRISM Award for both the unit and University of Michigan Health is the national acknowledgement of Nursing excellence and teamwork,” said May. “The staff on 8C have been working very hard on their UBC to carefully examine practice on their unit and how they can apply evidence-based practice to improve patient outcomes. I am extremely proud of the work they do.”

Cathy Kendrick, M.S., R.N., NE-BC, interim chief nursing officer for University Hospital and Frankel Cardiovascular Center (UH/CVC), said the PRISM Award recognizes the work the entire team has done to create and sustain an environment that supports the safety and wellbeing of both patients and staff.

“The unit’s success in achieving this award is evidence of Michigan Medicine’s commitment to supporting the teams who work diligently to carry out our vison,” said Kendrick. “Our care changes lives — not only for patients, but also for the individuals and teams who provide that care.”

Julie Grunawalt, M.S., R.N., CNML, associate chief nursing officer of medical services for UH/CVC said she is honored to work with the entire 8C team.

“This team is remarkable to say the least,” said Grunawalt. “The unit scored well above the cutoff points required for PRISM, and advanced scores were achieved in leadership, evidence-based practice, healthy practice environment and lifelong learning.

“8C is committed to providing safe, quality care to patients,” she said, “and their commitment to each other is extraordinary, making this an exceptional team of clinical nurses, staff and leadership.”

Kendrick would like to thank the team on 8C for paving the way for other medical-surgical units.

“In the words of Maya Angelou, ‘I believe a hero is anyone intent on doing good for others,’” said Kendrick. “Clearly, the team on 8C is doing a lot of good — for our patients and for each other.”

Learn even more about the PRISM Award and 8C as LaToya Freeman joined The Wrap employee podcast in the episode below: