Tonawanda News

September 7, 2012

KMH ICU, cardiology units recognized

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Kenmore Mercy Hospital in Kenmore has become the first area hospital to receive one particular national award recognizing the nation’s highest performing intensive care units.

The hospital announced this week its selection to receive the 2012 Silver Beacon Award for Excellence, through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. 

Hospital officials say Kenmore Mercy is now the first hospital in the Buffalo area — and one of five in New York state — to receive the award for quality standards, care of patients and families, and healthy work environments.

“Created to recognize individual nursing care units that distinguish themselves in the care of patients and their families, the Beacon Award for Excellence is a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and a healthy work environment,” a hospital spokesperson said.  

The designation is for three years, and is awarded on three levels: bronze, silver and gold.

Patient outcomes in Kenmore Mercy’s ICU consistently exceed national benchmarks, according to a statement from the hospital.

“The Silver Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes the high level of care provided to patients by our interdisciplinary critical care team that cares for our most seriously ill patients each and every day,” Veronica Valazza, RN, nurse manager for Kenmore Mercy’s 16-bed ICU, said.

The hospital also this week received national re-accreditation for its Echocardiography lab, which involves a complex imaging process focused on the heart.

Doctors’ “interpretive and technical abilities determine the diagnostic accuracy of an echocardiograph examination,” the hospital said.

The ICCEL accredits only the top performing Echo labs throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Dr. Robert Glover, chief of cardiology at the hospital, said the test is often the first step in diagnosing a range of heart ailments, and preventing cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. each year.

More than 10 million echocardiograms are performed each year.

To be considered for accreditation, echocardiography laboratories must voluntarily submit to a rigorous examination that reviews all aspects of care and service delivery. 

“The information provided by this non-invasive test is one of the most useful tools in diagnosing and treating many types of heart disease. The accreditation is a significant achievement for Kenmore,” he said.