Earlier this year, nurses, physicians and campus leadership at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital gathered in a conference room and huddled around a single telephone, anxiously awaiting an announcement that had been years in the making. The phone call would place the hospital among an elite group of facilities nationwide, joining Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.
Within seconds, the room erupted with cheers and applause. Memorial Hermann Greater Heights had received Magnet status for excellence in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®. The designation recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care and innovation in professional nursing practice, and is one of the highest levels of recognition a hospital can receive for nursing care.
This week, more than 9,000 nursing professionals representing over 20 countries descended upon downtown Houston for the ANCC National Magnet Conference®. The conference is the official annual event of the prestigious Magnet Recognition Program, showcasing the best nursing practices from around the world.
But what exactly does Magnet status mean, and how does it affect the care you receive at a Magnet-designated hospital?
The Road to Designation
Before a hospital is selected for Magnet recognition, ANCC completes a rigorous, extensive evaluation process that includes the review of written documentation submitted by the hospital, which provides sources of evidence that show the organization has met the Magnet model components. The documentation includes detailed demographic information about the hospital, nationally benchmarked nurse satisfaction survey scores and quality performance metrics. If the application and documents meet the Magnet standards for excellence as determined by a peer group of Magnet appraisers, a site visit is granted.
Initial Magnet recognition is valid for four years and during that time hospitals and nursing staff are closely monitored, evaluated and surveyed to ensure they remain in compliance with the program’s high standards. At the end of the four-year period, hospitals must re-apply and again undergo the challenging evaluation process.
“Hospitals that pursue Magnet designation must be passionate about excellence in nursing practice. Designation requires a commitment to a professional practice environment where nurses can thrive through advancing knowledge and application of evidence-based practice to improve patient outcomes,” says Karen Myers, VP and Chief Nursing Officer for Memorial Hermann Health System’s Central Region. “This performance-driven designation provides the infrastructure for nursing excellence and quality patient care, but the journey doesn’t stop there. Through the redesignation process, Magnet facilities must remain focused on the Magnet model, providing the framework for continuously improving patient care and clinical practice.”
The Impact on Patient Care
Studies have shown that Magnet-recognized hospitals typically provide a higher quality of patient care, better patient outcomes and higher patient satisfaction. Magnet hospitals also experience lower turnover and lower rates of burnout among nursing staff. In addition, the recognition is directly linked to a hospital’s ability to attract and retain qualified, highly-educated nursing staff.
“Designation as a Magnet facility is an incredible achievement signifying a hospital has demonstrated the highest standard of care for patients and their loved ones,” says Myers. “To us, Magnet is more than a nursing credential; it is an honor given to the entire team of Memorial Hermann clinicians, physicians and those behind the scenes who collaborate to ensure we are continuously providing exceptional care and experiences for our patients.”
Of the more than 5,000 hospitals in the U.S., only about eight percent are Magnet facilities. Find a physician affiliated with Memorial Hermann. Visit our careers website to join Memorial Hermann’s team.