Developing Your Beacon Award for Excellence Application

Formatting Instructions

Correctly formatting your Beacon application helps our reviewers provide consistent, high-quality assessments and minimizes the likelihood that important information will be overlooked.

  • Label and bold each section of your application with the category you are completing. The categories are:
    • Unit Profile (Beacon Handbook, page 10-11)
    • Leadership Structures and Systems (Beacon Handbook, page 12)
    • Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement (Beacon Handbook, page 13)
    • Effective Communication, Knowledge Management and Best Practices (Beacon Handbook, pages 14-15)
    • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes (Beacon Handbook, page 16)
    • Patient Outcomes (Beacon Handbook, page 17)
  • Number each question within the categories to correspond with the same question in the Beacon Handbook.
    • If space allows, include the full text.
  • Include page numbers on your application.
  • Pay special attention to font size and length restrictions:
    • Minimum font for the application is size 10.
    • Maximum length is 50 pages. 
      • If the application exceeds 50 pages, only the first 50 pages will be reviewed.
    • Maximum size is 15 megabytes, which includes the Unit Profile, graphs, diagrams or images.
  • Ensure all graphics, particularly in the Patient Outcomes section, are appropriately labeled.

Developing a Strong Unit Profile

The Unit Profile describes your unit and organization, providing context for the reviewers’ evaluation of all responses throughout the application.

  • Your responses should be consistent with the type of unit you are describing.
  • The Unit Profile is not scored, but it must be completed and included in the page count.

Responding Effectively to Beacon Criteria

For each question in Leadership Structures and Systems; Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement; Effective Communication, Knowledge Management and Best Practices; and Evidence-Based Practice and Processes you must:

  • Include a description of the unit’s approach, application and learning to illustrate how your unit achieves a goal or task.
  • Include expected outcomes, staff involvement, measurement and evaluation and how learning from evaluation loops back to the unit.
  • Take into account the views and perspectives of all key stakeholders.
  • Provide supporting evidence for each question.

The Patient Outcomes category provides results and measures of the processes documented in the first four categories of the application.

  • Reported outcomes should match the patient population of the unit.
  • For each outcome the supporting evidence should include levels, trends and comparisons.
    • Levels are numeric and provided on a meaningful scale.
    • Trends are also numeric and should show direction and rate of change with at least three data points.
    • Comparisons should include the relevant benchmark used by your unit as the goal for each outcome.

For further clarification on how reviewers assess written responses, refer to the scoring information in the Beacon Handbook.

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