Health Check: Area hospitals receive top honors for medical care

The Miriam Hospital intensive care unit recently received a Silver Beacon Award for patient care.

The intensive care unit inside The Miriam Hospital is busy.

"It's a 16-bed medical intensive care unit, all private rooms," said Judith Lynch, the clinical manager of the unit. "Staff works very hard here. The team works very hard."

Lynch said all of the team's hard work is being recognized by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses with its Silver Beacon Award for exceptional care.

"And while it's awarded by the critical care nurses, it really for us, recognizes and acknowledges the entire inter professional and inter disciplinary team. So the nurses, the physicians, the therapists, the social workers, our spiritual care advisers, everybody who touches our critical care patients here," said Maria Ducharme, chief nursing officer at Miriam Hospital.

In terms of medical care, the outcomes have been impressive.

"We've significantly decreased our complications from breathing apparatus, breathing tubes or ventilator-associated pneumonia," Ducharme said. "Our blood stream infections have decreased significantly as well."

But the care at the hospital goes beyond medical.

"We had a patient who was engaged to be married. His mom was terminal here in the ICU. He knew his mom would not be alive to see him get married so with the help of spiritual care, social work, dietary, nursing staff, medical staff, we had the wedding in the patient's room," Lynch said.

And Ducharme said that was just one of two weddings they've held in the ICU at Miriam over the past two years.

In addition to Miriam Hospital, two intensive care units at Rhode Island Hospital and one at Hasbro Children's Hospital also received Silver Beacon Awards.