Magnet Recognition® Affirms Top-Notch Nursing Care at Einstein
In August 2019, Einstein Healthcare Network learned that Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, MossRehab, Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park and WIllowcrest had received Magnet Recognition® from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Einstein becomes one of 500 hospitals – 8% of those in the country – to receive this distinction.
Gina Marone, Vice President of Healthcare Services and Chief Nurse Executive for Einstein Healthcare Network, led the effort to qualify and apply for the Magnet designation. We recently spoke with her about the Magnet process and what Magnet Recognition® means for Einstein patients.
Q: What is the Magnet Recognition Program®?
A: The Magnet designation or recognition program is the highest and most prestigious distinction a healthcare organization can receive for nursing excellence and high-quality patient care. It’s the gold standard for nursing.
Q: Why does the Magnet designation matter for Einstein?
A: We know that our nurses are an integral part of the team and contribute significantly to patient care outcomes. However, having an acknowledgment from an outside accrediting body is a wonderful formal recognition for their contributions to our patients, Einstein and the profession of nursing.
Q: What does the Magnet designation mean for patients?
A: Patients have the opportunity to make choices about their healthcare. They look for outcomes, quality, experience, innovative treatments, and the credentials of caretakers. A Magnet designation assures our patients that we excel in all of these areas. Patients know that if they come to Einstein they will receive top-notch nursing care.
Q: Tell me more about what it means to have top-notch nursing care.
A: Top-notch nursing care consist of superior patient-care outcomes, provided by nurses who are empathetic, compassionate and attentive to all of the patients’ individual needs. The nurse has advanced training and education and is supported by Einstein to continually pursue new knowledge and innovative ways to deliver patient care.
Q: What are the general criteria for achieving a Magnet designation?
A: The criteria include meeting national quality standards as well as patient experience, nurse engagement, nurse retention, and demonstration of scholarly work, which includes nurse research. In addition, we must show how we have problem-solved and discovered better ways to care for patients and our community as well. As professionals, nurses also must demonstrate continued commitment to expand our knowledge and education.
Q: What other criteria are involved?
A: In a Magnet organization, the organizational structure is important. The chief nurse must be part of the senior leadership team. This ensures advocacy for patient care and nursing needs at the highest level of the organization. In addition, for direct-care RNs, a key Magnet principle is for staff to make decisions and have a voice to impact their practice. Einstein has a well-developed and active “shared governance” nursing model.
Q: If you get tentative approval after documenting all these things, what comes next?
A: If the Magnet application document receives an excellent score, a site visit is granted. The Magnet surveyors come for a five-day appraisal. The intent is to verify and amplify the Magnet document through interactions with nursing staff, well as other partners of nursing such as physicians, pharmacists and leadership. It is quite intense. This is also where bedside nurses talk about their practice, patient-care stories and outcomes. This portion of the appraisal confirms that the principles of Magnet are alive on the front line. It also shows that the organization supports and empowers nurses.
Q: High-quality nursing care has been a longstanding priority at Einstein, but on the way to this recognition, did you make improvements?
A: Absolutely. We continuously work on nursing quality. There has been attention and focus on reduction of pressure injuries, which many people refer to as bedsores. We have reduced them by 30%. As another example, many patients have tubes inserted that are essential to their care but can increase the risk of infections. We have refined our practice to reduce these central-line infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections. We make sure that we have reliable systems and processes in place to reduce harm and produce quality outcomes.
Q: What has this process meant for Einstein nurses and this organization?
A: This is an award for Einstein. So while the nurses are ecstatic and feel valued, motivated and proud, Magnet designation is a real pride point for all. There is a sense of energy, enthusiasm and excitement in the entire organization. We are so happy to bring this sense of joy to Einstein and our community.
Q: What else should patients know about Magnet for now and the future?
A: Patients should know we are here to practice the best-quality nursing care and serve our community. As Magnet RNS, we will continue to raise the bar on nursing excellence. In three years, we’ll apply for redesignation. That’s when it will be critical to demonstrate that we have made excellence stick and that our foundation is solid.