April 19, 2012

VUMC receives second Magnet designation

by Kathy Rivers
During a phone call Wednesday from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Vanderbilt University Medical Center learned it has achieved its second ANCC designation as a Magnet organization.

The packed 208 Light Hall, filled with administrators, nurses and staff, broke into applause and cheers.

Marilyn Dubree, MSN, R.N., left, and Sabrina Downs, MSN, MBA, R.N., react after learning Wednesday that VUMC had achieved its second designation as a Magnet organization. (photo by John Russell)

Marilyn Dubree, MSN, R.N., left, and Sabrina Downs, MSN, MBA, R.N., react after learning Wednesday that VUMC had achieved its second designation as a Magnet organization. (photo by John Russell)

“Magnet designation is now widely known as a key indicator by which the nation’s very best hospitals are measured,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “The renewal of our designation is testimony to the tremendous focus and commitment our nurses, nursing leadership and all members of our interdisciplinary care teams provide to our patients. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone involved in the accreditation process for this great outcome.”

Magnet Recognition is a much-sought-after distinction for health care institutions, which must satisfy a comprehensive set of criteria measuring the strength and quality of nursing and interdisciplinary collaboration. Magnet recognizes hospitals for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. Appraisers look at a combination of factors and best practices in order to evaluate the culture of care at a given institution. Specifically, they want to ensure there is a collaborative, interdisciplinary team approach to care that recognizes nursing as a vital part of the team.

“The Magnet accreditation process is rigorous, comprehensive and meaningful to VUMC,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System.

"Independent organizations ranking and evaluating hospitals’ performance have come to include Magnet as an important metric. The achievement of second designation is a strategic victory toward retaining our place among the nation’s top health systems. I want to congratulate and thank Marilyn Dubree, members of our nursing leadership and our staff nurses for this great accomplishment. Our nurses and other members of our interdisciplinary care teams are the very best, always placing our patients first.”

VUMC joins an elite group of 392 hospitals in the United States, and four international organizations, that have achieved Magnet Recognition status. No other Middle Tennessee hospital has achieved the recognition. Johnson City Medical Center and University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville are the only other Tennessee hospitals to achieve this distinction.

“Each time, the ANCC raises the bar on what it takes to achieve Magnet status. This is an enormous, collective achievement that would not have been possible without the dedication of everyone at Vanderbilt,” said Marilyn Dubree, MSN, R.N., VUMC's executive chief nursing officer. “There is much to be proud of, but in particular, I am pleased that the appraisers noted we have an incredible level of collaboration among providers and that our patient and family-centered care is embedded throughout the Vanderbilt culture.”

VUMC earned its first Magnet designation in 2006. The Magnet Second Designation journey began in earnest three years ago. In fall 2010, VUMC submitted a 3,000-plus page Magnet document with data and evidence of the Medical Center’s approach and philosophy of patient care. In summer 2011, VUMC was asked to submit supplemental information. Two months ago, ANCC appraisers conducted a weeklong site visit of 125 areas within VUMC. Various interviews and other meetings included communication with approximately 700 nurses and staff.

“The Magnet journey is about individuals working toward a common goal,” said Sabrina Downs, MSN, MBA, R.N., director of VUMC Nursing Professional Practice and Magnet. “Whether it’s the hundreds of examples of excellent patient care, the small army of people who helped prepare for the site visit or all the ongoing support during the last two years, this is a success we can all share. We are each part of the Vanderbilt story.”

Typically, hospitals earn Magnet Recognition for a four-year period. The ANCC conducts annual reviews requesting updated documentation. At the end of four years, the Medical Center will go through the entire Magnet Recognition process once again.