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Southern Ohio Medical Center is the first hospital in the tri-state region to achieve the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) highest honor, the Magnet designation, recognizing national excellence in nursing. Only four percent of hospitals in the U.S. can claim this distinction.
“In the health care profession, Magnet recognition is a huge honor,” Claudia Burchett, vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer, said. “It serves as external recognition of the exceptional care that we provide to our patients and their families. Magnet not only demonstrates excellence in nursing, but also recognizes the teamwork throughout the organization to support quality of care, shared decision-making, interdisciplinary working relationships and our commitment to putting patients first in everything we do. This achievement is the result of more than 30 months of preparation and years of commitment to quality and excellence.”
The ANCC awarded SOMC the prestigious Magnet award after reviewing nearly 2,000 pages of submitted documentation demonstrating achievements in patient care, nurse satisfaction, quality improvement and nursing research. This was followed by a four-day on-site inspection by Magnet appraisers that included visits to all patient care areas and interviews with hundreds of nurses, employees, physicians, and community members.
“This has been a long and wonderful journey touching every discipline in our organization,” Valerie DeCamp, SOMC director of Inpatient Services and co-leader of the SOMC Magnet journey, said. “The result is a demonstration to our patients, employees, physicians, volunteers, community members, and current and future nurses of our commitment to quality.”
According to the ANCC, statistics show that nurses who work in Magnet-designated hospitals are more satisfied with their job and the care they provide. Magnet hospitals also have an increased retention rate for nurses — an important factor in light of today’s nursing recruitment challenges.
“Nurses want to work in a place where they are supported to provide the best quality care,” Karen Thompson, SOMC director of Home Health Services and co-leader of the SOMC Magnet journey, said. “For the past two years, SOMC has been named one of the best places to work in the state of Ohio. We have also had nurse retention rates at 95 percent, the envy of most in the nation, and employee satisfaction scores that place us at the top 1 percent in the country. These are the types of things that make us a Magnet organization — and make us proud.”
Burchett added that physicians are also attracted to Magnet hospitals. “It’s a sign to them that the hospital is dedicated to hiring and keeping the most qualified nurses,” she said. “We provide an environment where education is vital, and we promote ongoing education, certifications and nursing research.”
The ultimate goal of Magnet recognition, however, is a demonstration to patients of the quality care provided by Magnet hospitals. Independent studies show patients who receive care at Magnet hospitals have a shorter length of stay and higher satisfaction rates. According to ANCC, “Magnet recognition provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive.”
The Magnet Recognition Program was developed by the ANCC in 1994 to recognize health care facilities that provide the very best in professional nursing care. The 14 “Forces of Magnetism” that distinguish Magnet organizations include an environment that promotes excellence in interdisciplinary teamwork, research, education and patient care. SOMC demonstrated excellence in all 14 Forces to earn this award.
The ANCC is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association and is the largest and most prominent nursing credentialing organization in the U.S.