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Celebrating nursing excellence: Magnet site visit recap and next steps

by Medical Staff Office on July 29, 2014

Last week was one filled with pride for Anne Arundel Medical Center. On July 21, 22 and 23, we had our Magnet® site visit—a critical step in our journey to Magnet recognition.

What is Magnet? The Magnet Recognition Program® recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. Developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Magnet designation is the ultimate credential for high-quality nursing. Over the last seven years, AAMC Nursing has used the Magnet framework to improve care, quality and outcomes for our patients, while also improving nurse satisfaction and the work environment. To even apply for Magnet recognition, we had to be above benchmark performance in our nursing quality indicators, patient satisfaction and nurse satisfaction. Only 6 percent of healthcare organizations nationally achieve this designation—most hospitals cannot even apply.

The site visit with three very experienced and accomplished Magnet appraisers was highly anticipated by all of AAMC. It gave us the opportunity to demonstrate the high quality of care we provide to the community.

The appraisers spent three days developing a deep sense of the knowledge and caring that defines AAMC nursing. Their visit included unit and department tours, interviews with leaders, staff on all shifts and community stakeholders, reviews of our patient, nurse and physician satisfaction data, as well as open forums. All employees, medical staff and community members were invited to come to open forums and tell their AAMC pride story about the care we provide.

The open forums were extremely well-attended. In fact, at the staff forum the lead appraiser’s first word was, “Wow,” as she observed the packed room of 150 colleagues. The stories about their partnerships with nursing were truly touching. Your colleagues spoke of feeling “honored” and “proud” to work at AAMC, how they have learned from nurses, and how they appreciate the high quality care we deliver. More than one staff member commented on the excellent collaboration we share and how they view the AAMC family.

In a later session, 150 community members representing schools of nursing, paramedics, city and county leaders, trustees, clinical partners like the Maryland Hospital Association, Hospice of the Chesapeake and Annapolis Wellness House, and mostly grateful patients and families shared heartfelt stories of gratitude and admiration for AAMC nursing. The appraisers commented they had never seen a Magnet community forum of that magnitude.

In summary, the Magnet appraisers cited five best practices they took from AAMC:

  1. Nursing leadership
  2. Nursing satisfaction results, especially nurse-physician collaboration
  3. Patient satisfaction results
  4. Implementation and dissemination of evidenced-based practice across the organization
  5. Patient- and family-centered care, especially our use of patient and family advisors

What’s next? We expect to hear about our Magnet designation status in the fall. In the meantime, we celebrate a successful visit that has left us feeling an overwhelming sense of pride. We will continue our never-ending journey of providing extraordinary care to our community.

Thank you for your care to patients, families, and to each other.\

With warmest regards,

Sherry Perkins, PhD, RN
Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer
Anne Arundel Medical Center

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