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BIDMC Intensive Care Efforts Honored

International recognition for family-centered care

BOSTON - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has been honored by an international group of critical care specialists for its work to improve the experience of patients and family members in intensive care units (ICUs).

The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), with 14,000 members in 80 countries, named BIDMC the winner of the 2010 Family-Centered Care Award, given annually to one hospital or ICU to "recognize innovation that improves the care provided to critically ill and injured patients and their families."

The goal of developing "person-centered critical care" for BIDMC's nine ICUs followed several quality and safety successes in clinical areas such as central venous line infection prevention and ventilator-associated pneumonia reduction, said Michael Howell, MD, Director of Critical Care Quality.

Those efforts included creation of an ICU Patient and Family Advisory Council, waiting room improvements, elimination of formal visiting hours to allow more family access, simulated family meetings to help train medical residents, family pagers in the surgical ICU, transition-out-of-the-ICU work in the CardioVascular Institute at BIDMC and pro-active rounding of chaplains.

"Literally hundreds of staff at BIDMC have made small, incremental changes to help improve the experience of critical care for our patients and families," said Howell. "Anyone who has had a family member an ICU knows that it's an extraordinarily trying time. Today, families are more than twice as likely to report that they are completely satisfied with their decision-making role at BIDMC than they were when we started and we've seen improvements in other areas as well."

SCCM is the largest multi-professional organization focused on critical care, with more than 14,000 members in 80 countries who are physician intensivists, critical care nurses, critical care pharmacists/pharmocologists, respiratory therapists and other professionals including physical/occupational therapists, technicians, social workers, dieticians and members of the clergy.

The 2010 Family-Centered Care honorable mention went to the Hospital De Clinicas Caracas in Venezuela.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and consistently ranks among the top four in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit .