magnetMagnet designation, which honors an institution for high-quality patient care, clinical excellence, innovations in professional practice and interprofessional collaboration, has become a highly regarded symbol of distinction in patient care over the last three decades. This spring, BWH will reach a milestone on its journey to Magnet designation by submitting evidence of the hospital’s commitment to these standards to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which oversees the Magnet Recognition Program.

The ANCC recognizes institutions that demonstrate measures of distinction in the five components of the Magnet model: Transformational Leadership, Structural Empowerment, Exemplary Professional Practice, New Knowledge, Innovations and Improvements and Empirical Outcomes.

The Magnet Recognition Program is rooted in nursing with the belief that merit in nursing practice and collaboration across professions leads to the highest-quality patient care.

“Magnet designation is the pinnacle of nursing excellence,” said Esteban Gershanik, MD, MPH, MSc, an attending physician in the Department of Medicine and a member of BWH’s Magnet Clinical Steering Committee. “BWH has always prided itself on nursing excellence; this process is formalizing that commitment even further.”

The Magnet Clinical Steering Committee has been meeting monthly since May 2015 to determine the 75 examples BWH will submit as evidence of meeting Magnet standards.

“Being part of the committee has given me the opportunity to see and further appreciate the comprehensive and collaborative work being done in clinical nursing and nursing research at BWH,” said Gershanik.

Patient Progression, an initiative focused on getting patients in the right bed at the right time for the right amount of time, is an example included in BWH’s body of evidence for Magnet. Using a multi-pronged approach, interprofessional teams work to efficiently and safely move patients through the system, improve communication among the care team and enhance the care experience. Since the launch of Patient Progression in fall 2013, BWH has seen positive measures of success including reduced length of stay, improved discharge process and implementation of interprofessional huddles on patient care units.

“The process of preparing our Magnet evidence has motivated us all to work synergistically to continue to improve our processes of care,” said C. Keith Ozaki, MD, FACS, director of Vascular Surgery Research and a member of the BWH Magnet Clinical Steering Committee. “This recognition will allow us to continue to recruit and retain the best nursing staff for enhanced patient care for our Brigham community.”

To date, only 8 percent of U.S. hospitals are Magnet-designated, with three of those in Boston (Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital). The Joint Commission considers Magnet a “gold standard” for quality of care, and U.S. News & World Report weighs the designation heavily in its ranking of the best medical centers.

“Magnet designation is meaningful to patients and family members who are deciding where to receive care, as well as to prospective employees who are looking for a hospital that stands out among its peers,” said Brigham Health President Betsy Nabel, MD.

BWH will submit its evidence to the ANCC this spring and will be notified three to six months after acceptance whether the hospital has been chosen for a site visit. During a site visit, which would tentatively take place in the fall, appraisers would speak with employees, patients and families about the quality of care provided. One to two months following the site visit, BWH would learn whether it has achieved Magnet designation.

“As we move forward on our journey to Magnet status, I am confident the site appraisers will see what our Brigham community does so well: devoting ourselves to exceptional, compassionate, collaborative and safe care each and every day,” Nabel said.