For The Catholic Messenger
CLINTON — Mercy Medical Center received much anticipated news April 15 when Donna Havens, who chairs the Commission for the Magnet Recognition Program, announced to a roomful of nurses, employees, physicians and volunteers that Mercy-Clinton has achieved Magnet recognition.
Mercy-Clinton, a nonprofit health care organization, is a member of Mercy Health Network based in Des Moines, Iowa, and Trinity Health based in Livonia, Mich., the nation’s fourth largest Catholic healthcare system.
Magnet recognition reflects Mercy-Clinton’s nursing professionalism, teamwork and superiority in patient care. Only 7 percent of healthcare facilities nationwide have received this distinction. American Nurses Credentialing Center determines Magnet recognition and ensures that rigorous standards for nursing excellence are met. With this credential, Mercy-Clinton joins a select group of 410 healthcare organizations nationwide and internationally and is one of six Magnet hospitals in Iowa.
“It is a monumental event to achieve this recognition,” said Sean Williams, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center.
“First and foremost, it’s about making sure that what we do, we do as well as anyone in our business, in our ministry.” He noted that “every area of this organization is represented with this recognition.” It further shows that “we set a very high standard of excellence, that we are uncompromisingly committed to it and that we do it in a framework of a Catholic, Christian organization that knows what matters most.”
To achieve Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. The process begins with the submission of an electronic application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes.
If scores from the written documentation fall within a range of excellence, an on-site visit is conducted. Then the Com-mission on Magnet reviews the completed appraisal report and votes to determine whether Magnet recognition will be granted.
Officials from Mercy-Clinton said Magnet recognition has become the gold standard for nursing excellence and is taken into consideration when the public judges healthcare organizations. U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care. The Magnet model’s foundation is composed of various elements deemed essential to delivering superior patient care.
These include the quality of nursing leadership and coordination and collaboration across specialties, as well as processes for measuring and improving quality and delivery of care.
Magnet recognition has been shown to provide specific benefits to hospitals and their communities, such as: higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help and receipt of discharge information; 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.
Amy Berentes, vice president of Patient Care Services, said the journey to Magnet designation has taken about seven years. “Magnet designation is the most prestigious credential for nursing excellence and quality patient care. It has led to improvement in patient and staff safety, nursing satisfaction and retention, reduced costs and superior patient outcomes.”