Friday, January 25, 2013

Q&A: The MGH and Magnet


SIZABLE SHOWCASE: The Magnet evidence submitted to the ANCC by the MGH


In 2003, the MGH became the state’s first hospital to earn Magnet Recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. In 2008, the hospital was redesignated a Magnet organization. Magnet Recognition is the ANCC’s highest honor bestowed upon health care organizations for nursing excellence. Four years later it is once again time for the MGH’s Magnet site visit. Here, Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, DNP, FAAN, senior vice president for Patient Care Services and chief nurse, provides an overview of this prestigious program.

What is the Magnet Recognition Program?
The Magnet Recognition Program was developed by the ANCC to recognize health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. The program also provides a vehicle for disseminating successful nursing practices and strategies. The ANCC has awarded Magnet designation to fewer than 7 percent of all registered U.S. hospitals.

Why is maintaining the MGH’s Magnet status important?
Magnet recognition is not an award – you don’t “win it” – you earn it. It’s the highest stamp of approval a health care organization can receive from a nonregulatory agency. Research demonstrates that Magnet hospitals have better patient outcomes, patient satisfaction and nursing satisfaction, as well as lower RN turnover. Magnet-hospital designation and redesignation is now considered the “gold standard” for nursing practice in all settings, and by extension, the highest standards of quality and safety in patient care.

What does the redesignation process involve?
The process started over the past few years with the MGH conducting a comprehensive gathering of evidence to support the hospital’s claim to Magnet status. This resulted in 5,024 pages describing individual and collective work that illustrate the Magnet standards. After a thorough assessment by a team of four ANCC appraisers, the MGH advanced to a site visit. From March 4 through March 7, the same team of appraisers will visit the MGH to verify, clarify and amplify the evidence they reviewed. The site visit provides appraisers with an opportunity to speak directly to nursing staff, patients and their families, as well as all other MGH staff members. The team will visit the main campus, health centers, clinics, as well as other MGH satellite locations. In essence, they conduct a review in every location where a nurse practices.

I am not a nurse. What is my role in the Magnet site visit?
As an MGH employee, everyone has a key role in the upcoming site visit. It’s important to know that ANCC appraisers can stop and talk to any member of the MGH community – at any time and at any location. This information will be used as part of the team’s review process. All MGH employees should have a basic understanding of the Magnet Recognition process and should be able to describe how their department works in collaboration with nursing.

For more information about Magnet and the upcoming site visit, contact Marianne Ditomassi, RN, DNP, MBA, Magnet program director at (617) 724-2164. 

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