Sarasota Memorial Hospital Emergency Care Team earns prestigious Lantern Award

Award called ‘visible symbol’ that the emergency department ‘values excellence and delivers exceptional care’

Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s main campus is near downtown Sarasota. Image courtesy Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Care Center is one of just 19 emergency departments across the nation — and the only one in Florida — to earn the prestigious Emergency Nurses Association Lantern Award in 2018, the hospital has announced.

“The award recognizes emergency departments that demonstrate excellent practice and innovative performance in leadership, education, advocacy and research,” a news release explains. The national honor is a tribute to the Emergency Care Center’s (ECC) “commitment to quality, safety and a healthy work environment,” according to the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), which announced award winners this week, the release adds.

“The Lantern Award acts as a visible symbol to patients that the receiving emergency department values excellence and delivers exceptional care,” said ENA President Jeff Solheim in the release. “It shines a light on that emergency department’s commitment to providing safe practice and safe care.”

Sarasota Memorial’s main campus ECC received the award for a three-year period, “based on an extensive application that provided evidence of its superior patient and staff satisfaction results and successful performance-improvement programs,” the release explains. Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s emergency team “shared the outcomes of several quality initiatives, including the reduction of door-to-treatment times and length of patients’ stay in the ECC, and the establishment of a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program to provide supportive, compassionate care to assault victims,” the release adds.

“The Lantern Award also recognized the department’s excellent nurse retention and turnover rates, as well as staff’s commitment to professionalism and education, demonstrated by their pursuit of advanced degrees and specialized certifications,” the release notes.

“The honor is a considerable achievement given the size, scope and complexity of Sarasota Memorial’s ECC, which is one of the largest and busiest ERs in the region,” the release says. The hospital’s main campus Emergency Room, “which sees nearly 100,000 patients each year, provides a full range of emergency specialty services 24/7 and is Sarasota County’s only Trauma Center,” the release points out.