Fast Company

A Growing Wave of Hospital Excellence

Today I am at the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky. This year's event sold out with over 5,000 nurses, health care workers, and hospital executives in attendance. These three days will showcase Magnet Hospitals. These are hospitals that have successfully transformed their culture to attract and retain good nurses. And this in the midst of a nursing shortage that is expected to intensify.

ANCC has successfully designed a program that creates a total cultural transformation for hospitals, beginning with the nurses and extending to all elements.  As a result these hospitals become centers of excellence in care. This means lower patient mortality, greater collaboration between nurses and doctors, evidence-based data collection to drive innovation, and even a better bottom-line.

The implementation is not cheap, costing significant resources in dollars, time, and effort. But, the transformation is undeniable. So much so that when U.S. News & World Report publishes its annual showcase of "America's Best Hospitals," being a Magnet facility contributes to the total score.

Today I learned that over 100 hospitals have either been designated or re-designated  Magnet status in the last year, adding to the growing wave of hospital excellence ANCC has sparked. Hospitals are required to submit documents to redesignate after 4 years in order to maintain their status.

The Commission on Magnet® has recognized 352 healthcare organizations in 44 states and Washington, DC, as well as four international healthcare organizations: two in Australia, one in New Zealand, and one in Beirut, Lebanon.

This is just in time, given the current spotlight on health care. ANCC has a special interactive map on their website to help you find a Magnet hospital near you.

The culture change happens by focusing on fourteen forces aggregated into five components. They are worth studying because of the results they are generating:

1. Transformational Leadership
Quality of Nursing Leadership
Management Style

2. Structural Empowerment
Organizational Structure
Personnel Policies and Programs
Community and the Healthcare Organization
Image of Nursing
Professional Development

3. Exemplary Professional Practice
Professional Models of Care
Consultation and Resources
Autonomy
Nurses as Teachers
Interdisciplinary Relationships

4. New Knowledge, Innovation, & Improvements
Quality Improvement

5. Empirical Quality Results
Quality of Care

The conference is pumped with enthusiasm. It is like a huge pep rally with thousands of practitioners cheering each other on, sharing know-how and expertise, and working together to bring a new model of health care excellence to hospitals across the land. This is exactly what we need: real hope for healthcare grounded in evidence-based practice.

 

- Seth Kahan, VisionaryLeadership.com 

Seth Kahan is a Change Leadership specialist. He has consulted with CEOs and executives in over 50 world-class organizations that include Shell, World Bank, Peace Corps, Marriott, Prudential, American Society of Association Executives, International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association, Project Management Institute, and NASA. He is the founder of Seth Kahan’s CEO Leaders Forum, a community of CEOs working together to innovate through the current economy. His next book, Getting Change Right: Guaranteeing Buy-In from Your Most Valuable Players, will be published in spring 2010 by Jossey-Bass.Visit his other blog, GettingChangeRight.com for more info on the book.  

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