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Radiology sees results from Magnet Recognition effort

BY: KATHY RIVERS

Elaine Atteberry and Deb Rassel, nurses and Magnet Champions in Radiology, work together on the bulletin board informing the department’s staff about the Magnet program. 
Photo by Dana Johnson

3/03/2006 - Elaine Atteberry and Deb Rassel, nurses and Magnet Champions in Radiology, work together on the bulletin board informing the department’s staff about the Magnet program. Photo by Dana Johnson

The pursuit of Magnet Recognition for VUMC is flourishing in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, which collectively handles roughly 400,000 procedures a year and sees 1,200 patients each day.

The employees include physicians, nurses, technicians and administrative staff who are working together to address issues that improve quality of care and patient outcomes.

Department leaders and Magnet Champions — unit leaders trained in Magnet Recognition goals and objectives — have shared the “14 Forces of Magnetism.”

These are the specific focus areas needed to achieve accreditation that range from organizational structure to interdisciplinary relationships. Magnet Champions Elaine Atteberry, M.S.N., R.N., and Deb Rassel, R.N., are working these areas of emphasis into everyday life for the 300 employees in the department.

“It's important to note that you don't have to be a registered nurse to advance in excellence while providing patient care,” said Atteberry. “Patient satisfaction is the key indicator on how we are doing, and everyone can impact that satisfaction.”

She notes that change is difficult for anyone, but communication has been a key part of embracing the Magnet process in Radiology. The department produces a newsletter that shares updates about the program and holds monthly Unit Board meetings that are open to all employees to discuss issues, best practices and quality improvements. Employees are encouraged to understand the process and address where these changes impact them.

“Each of us is a representative of VUMC, regardless of where we work, what we do professionally and where we fit into the daily scheme of things,” said Atteberry. “We are part of something that starts with one individual and grows into something much larger from there.”

Atteberry adds that the Magnet process complements the Shared Governance initiative that incorporates decentralized decision making and allows each employee a voice in their work.

Magnet Recognition is the highest level of recognition for health care centers that provide nursing care determined by the American Nurses Credential-ing Center (ANCC).

Only 2 percent of hospitals in the country are Magnet Hospitals.

VUMC has more than 170 Magnet Champions or staff leaders representing every major department and clinic. The accreditation process will culminate with a site-visit this summer.

For more information, visit www.vanderbiltmagnet.com.

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