DOVER –– After an eight-year journey of improvement in quality of care, Bayhealth has achieved Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a reflection of the superior performance of its nurses.
“It’s a recognition for nursing excellence but it reflects the organization as a whole,” Bonnie Perratto, senior vice president and chief nurse executive, CNE said. “This isn’t something that’s only about a few people or even a single department, it’s the product of so many people working together to achieve excellence.”
The process of earning the recognition is anything but easy. Applicants must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that requires cooperation and coordination between the facility’s leadership and staff.
The recognition process begins with the submission of an electronic application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence on patient care and outcomes.
If scores on the electronic and written applications meet the ANCC’s standards, an on-site review is conducted by Magnet appraisers.
In addition to the application process and comprehensive site visit, the ANCC conducts interviews of nurses and patients. About 200 Bayhealth nurses were interviewed and patients were interviewed while in the hospital and a public comment period was also held for former patients to voice their opinion of a previous visit.
Although some of Bayhealth’s nurses were hired with an associates degree, the majority have higher education degrees like a BSN or MSN and 54 percent of Bayhealth’s nurses have an area of specialty.
Bayhealth also encourages continuing education and helps its nurses with financial support to pursue a higher degree or gain certification in an area of specialty.
As Bayhealth began focusing on Magnet recognition eight years ago, nursing education standards and as a result, their involvement has increased.
Bayhealth’s nurses have become more involved in patient care outside the hospital room as well.
“The nurses work more with doctors rather than just for them,” Ms. Holecek, director of Patient Care Services said. “Their involvement has increased in almost every way. They are more engaged, help select courses of treatment and continually do research on new procedures and evidence based practices.”
Due to the collaboration between nurses and doctors, Magnet recognized organizations have been shown to provide benefits such as: higher patient satisfaction with nurse communications, availability of help, and receipt of discharge information and a lower risk of 30-day mortality and lower failure to rescue, higher job satisfaction among nurses, and lower nurse reports of intentions to leave position.
Magnet recognition is more than just a certificate to hang on the wall, it makes a health care facility a draw to patients and nurses alike.
“Magnet recognized facilities are a preferential choice for patients if they are given an option because they know they will receive a high quality of care and highly qualified nurses will come looking for work because they know we have a better environment and higher standards than other employers,” Ms. Perratto said.
To maintain Magnet recognition, organizations must go through a re-application process every two years to show they have maintained and heightened their standards.
“We have to keep getting better, the recognition doesn’t mean we remain at the same level,” Ms. Holecek said. “The recognition is only good for four years so when we reapply, we need to be even better than we are now.”
Visit www.bayhealth.org to learn more about Bayhealth.