What Does it Mean for You?
Lowell General Hospital has achieved Magnet Recognition for Nursing Excellence for a third consecutive time, something only 2% of all hospitals in the country can say.
It’s an enormous honor and source of pride for the hospital, but what does it mean for patients? A lot, actually.
“Magnet hospitals aspire to excellence, not just in nursing but in all they do,” says Cece Lynch, Chef Nurse Executive at Lowell General. “For patients, that means they can trust that our nurses, doctors and staff use the highest standards of care and those actions lead to great outcomes. And we have the data to prove it.”
The Magnet Recognition Program® — which involves an extensive application and review process by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the largest and most prominent nurses credentialing organization in the world — identifies health care organizations that provide the very best in nursing care and professionalism in nursing practice.
The concept of so-called “magnet hospitals” came out of a nursing shortage in the early 1980s. The American Nursing Association undertook a study to better understand why some hospitals seemed to have more success recruiting and retaining nurses while maintaining strong patient outcomes.
The researchers found that these hospitals shared “Forces of Magnetism” like transformational leadership, empowered nurses, outstanding professional practice, innovation and improvement, and strong data to back it up.
Using the results of the study, the American Nurses Credentialing Center created the Magnet Recognition Program to provide a path for healthcare organizations to institute and foster these best practices.
“Magnet provides a framework for organizations to ensure best practices and strong structures are in place,” says Diane Regan, RN, Director of Nursing Practice and Magnet Program Director at Lowell General. “Whatever it is you are looking to improve upon, involving staff and interdisciplinary members of the team are essential in supporting high quality outcomes.”
More than a decade ago, Lowell General Hospital felt it met these high standards and successfully earned entry into this exclusive group in 2010 and again in 2015. An organization must reapply every four years, and Lowell General was scheduled for its third review in April when the pandemic arrived.
When the ANCC was ready to resume its review process in June 2020, Lowell General became one of the first hospitals to have it done virtually, giving tours of the units via tablets.
“We were still fighting the pandemic, but we knew that the appraisers would see a true Magnet organization in action when they came for our virtual site visit,” Regan says.
The reason so few organizations receive consecutive recognitions is the challenge of putting structures in place to maintain this high level of care. And each time around, the ANCC raises the bar.
“Now more than ever, the Commission on Magnet® wants to see outcomes in terms of quality indicators and decreased mortality, and they want to see a continually improving organization,” Regan says.
For patients and their families, that means everything.
“Magnet means you will receive superior care with better outcomes, satisfaction and access to the best staff from all areas of clinical expertise,” Lynch says.