Bryn Mawr Hospital Receives Magnet Designation; Nursing's Highest Honor!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

magnetlogo175b_10683.jpgPAOLI, PA - Main Line Health Hospitals' nursing service at Bryn Mawr, Lankenau and Paoli Hospitals was awarded Magnet™ designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the nation's highest award for recognizing excellence in nursing care. Hospital administrators announced the shared designation Tuesday following a public teleconferenced phone call with ANCC officials. The acute care hospitals represent 2,000 registered and licensed practical nurses. 

"The ANCC is very highly respected among nurses, and we are absolutely thrilled that  our hospitals have this important stamp of approval," said Barbara J. Tachovsky, RN, MS, CNAA, Chief Nursing Officer for Main Line Health and President of Paoli Hospital. "Main Line Health has always prided itself in the quality of its nursing practice, and being   Magnet hospitals validates what our patients already know: Every day, we deliver excellence in nursing care."

Of some 6,000 hospitals in the country, only 169 have been granted Magnet status. The three Main Line Health hospitals bring to eight the number of hospitals in Pennsylvania honored by the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program.

To achieve Magnet status, hospitals must satisfy demanding criteria that measure the strength and quality of their nursing practice as defined in the American Nurses Association and demonstrate fourteen "Forces of Magnetism"according to Martha Lyman, RN, MPH, Magnet project manager for Main Line Health.

"The evaluation is extremely stringent and rigorous, involving detailed documentation that is reviewed by a three-member panel of nurse leaders and a five-day site visit by the same panel members," said Lyman.

Lyman, who began organizing the Magnet project in November 2002, described the effort as "a truly grassroots movement in all the hospitals." Her project team included a staff member from every unit, who kept nurses abreast of the application process. "By the time we finished gathering information and data and compiling 12 volumes for the application, scores of staff members had participated," Lyman said.

At the typical Magnet hospital, patient outcomes are excellent, nurses have a high level of job satisfaction, low turnover, an appropriate way to resolve grievances, and are involved in collecting data and making decisions about patient care. There is open communication between nurses and other members of the health care team and an appropriate personnel mix to attain the highest patient outcomes.

Lyman said the panel bases its evaluation on 65 indicators measured against 14 standards. Nursing leadership is one of the important attributes examined, from how nursing leaders interact with the hospital leadership at the highest level down to the opportunities nurses have to lead themselves.

"There is a very big emphasis with the ANCC on nurses at the bedside having a voice, and that had to come through very loud and clear in our presentation," said Lyman.

According to the ANCC, Magnet facilities consistently outperform non-magnet organizations, deliver better patient outcomes, spend more time at the patients' bedsides, and have shorter lengths of patient stay.

During the site visit June 20-24, 2005, Lyman said the panel "really grilled the nurses on nursing practice issues, quality improvements, and innovations. It was very, very intense, but also very positive. The sense of camaraderie was evident everywhere. Doctors stopped the panel members in the halls saying they wouldn't work anywhere else because the nursing care was so exceptional."

Lyman and Tachovsky said there are numerous benefits to having Magnet status, including reassuring patients they will receive the highest quality care and making it easier to recruit and retain qualified nurses and attract high-quality physicians and scientists.

"This is a very powerful award," said Tachovsky. "And it's important to note that while it elevates the nursing practice, this designation is an achievement for each hospital. Nurses aren't islands. If you have great nursing, it's mutually supportive of all departments. When I was touring the hospitals for the site visit, everyone from housekeeping to physicians was giving me the thumbs up."

The Magnet designation lasts for four years, after which the system will have to reapply and go through the lengthy process again. "It's exciting because this is only the beginning," said Lyman. "And that's a great thing."

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health focuses on cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, and women's health, in addition to offering a comprehensive range of health services. Main Line Health consists of three acute care hospitals-Bryn Mawr, Lankenau, and Paoli-and six other institutions, including Bryn Mawr Rehab, providing programs for patients with disabilities; Great Valley Health, a primary care physician organization; and Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, which studies diseases of aging.

Published: 6-5-2008

Frieda Schmidt
Public Relations


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