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Union Hospital of Cecil County Receives 2017 ANCC Pathway Award

Rachel Farbman, 301-628-5062

SILVER SPRING, MD — The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has awarded Union Hospital of Cecil County (Union Hospital) the 2017 ANCC Pathway Award, sponsored by Cerner. Union Hospital is a full-service community hospital in Elkton, Maryland.

The $25,000 ANCC Pathway Award honors a project proposal in a Pathway to Excellence® designated organization that demonstrates innovation and technology to create a positive nurse practice environment. The monetary award — sponsored by Cerner, a global leader in health care technology — will be used to further implement and expand the project. This year's award was presented Thursday, April 27 at the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference® in Dallas.

“The ANCC Pathway Award recognizes innovative nursing projects that use technology to advance the experiences of nurses and the patients they care for,” said Eva Karp, RN-BC, MBA, FACHE, chief clinical and patient safety officer and senior vice president, Cerner. “Innovative solutions that support an optimal patient hand-off are critical to patient safety. We’re proud to support Union Hospital in addressing a step in the clinician workflow that’s largely susceptible to error.”

Union Hospital's winning proposal—Every Hand-off Face-to-Face—was developed to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction by transforming hand-off communication. This project will utilize high definition cameras, televisions, smart phones and tablets to conduct a video conference between two multi-disciplinary teams and/or levels of care. Through this technology, the care team will be able to exchange vital data and set goals while, at the same time, improving the patient experience by alleviating fears and including patients in the plan of care.

“By involving the patient, their outcomes are better, their satisfaction is better, and the risk for medical errors drastically decreases,” said Union Hospital’s Observation Unit Nurse Manager Steven McPherson, BSN, RN. “It is the best practice because it is the safest practice. Patients are the clients. This is their plan of care, their discharge, their admission, their downgrade, transfer, life. Leaving them out of the transfer of care is unacceptable.”

McPherson explained that the transition from emergency care to an inpatient unit, and then from acute care to short term rehab or long term care facilities, is plagued with rushed telephone reports and minimum provider collaboration. This deficiency in hand-off can and has resulted in a spectrum of negative outcomes including unwarranted emergency department visits, early rapid response team calls, and delays in treatment. The ANCC Pathway Award will help fund the initiative to bring electronic video face-to-face communication to every hand-off.

“Our mission is to provide safe quality care, which is made possible by implementing proper hand-offs and conducting effective safety huddles for our patients, family and team members on a consistent basis,” said Union Hospital Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services, Katie Boston-Leary, MBA, MHA, BSN, CNOR, NEA-BC. “This wonderful and most appreciated recognition and award helps us leverage technology to systemize a process that will be educational, effective and efficient.” 

"Nurses in Pathway-designated organizations are key partners in identifying ways to provide improved care and are empowered to make a difference in each patient's health care experience," said ANCC Vice President for Magnet Recognition Program® and the Pathway to Excellence® Program Jeff Doucette, DNP, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, CENP, LNHA. "The Every Hand-off Face-to-Face project is a great example of creating a culture of effective collaboration and exceptional patient-centered care.”

About the Pathway to Excellence® Program
The Pathway to Excellence® Program recognizes health care and long term care organizations for positive practice environments where nurses excel. To qualify, organizations meet Pathway Standards essential to an ideal nursing practice environment. Nurses trust that Pathway-designated organizations respect their contributions, support professional development, and nurture optimal work settings.

About ANCC
The mission of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA), is to promote excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs. ANCC’s internationally renowned credentialing programs certify and recognize individual nurses in specialty practice areas. ANCC recognizes health care organizations that promote nursing excellence and quality patient outcomes while providing safe, positive work environments. In addition, ANCC accredits health care organizations that provide and approve continuing nursing education. ANCC is the only nurse credentialing organization to successfully achieve ISO 9001:2008 certification in the design, development and delivery of global credentialing services for nurses and health care organizations.

About Cerner
Cerner's health information technologies connect people, information and systems at more than 20,000 facilities worldwide. Recognized for innovation, Cerner solutions assist clinicians in making care decisions and enable organizations to manage the health of populations. The company also offers an integrated clinical and financial system to help health care organizations manage revenue, as well as a wide range of services to support clients' clinical, financial and operational needs. Cerner's mission is to contribute to the systemic improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities. For more information about Cerner, visit, read our blog at, connect with us on Twitter at and on Facebook at Our website, blog, Twitter account and Facebook page contain a significant amount of information about Cerner, including financial and other information for investors.

About Union Hospital of Cecil County
Union Hospital is an award-winning, full-service community hospital located in Elkton, Maryland. Nationally recognized for clinical excellence in the treatment and prevention of disease, our 84-bed (licensed), not-for-profit hospital is dedicated to providing superior, personalized, quality health care to our neighbors, families and friends. Our mission is to enhance the health and well-being of residents in Cecil County and neighboring communities. Our services combine the latest technology with the warm, personal touch you’d expect from a community hospital. Serving the residents of Cecil County and the neighboring communities in Delaware and southern Pennsylvania for more than 100 years, we’ve made it a priority to remain committed to the high quality of care that we’ve been known for since 1908.

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