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Northern Westchester Hospital emphasizes nursing excellence

Magnet®-designated hospitals are considered the gold standard for nursing practice and innovation. However, the Magnet journey can be an overwhelming experience for any size organization without the proper structure and process to attain desired outcomes. In 2021, Northern Westchester Hospital (part of Northwell Health) began implementing an innovative strategy to complete a successful Magnet site visit with exemplars. Magnet exemplars are concepts, practices or programs worthy of imitation.

Staff found that creating the infrastructure to monitor Magnet quality metrics over time is key. NWH used Press Ganey’s Nursing Excellence Solution to monitor these indicators. Units not meeting the national benchmark on an indicator were given an immediate action plan for improvement. 

NWH submitted its Magnet document via the “ADAM” electronic platform on Feb. 1, 2021, while coming out of a COVID-19 pandemic wave. Its Magnet document was reviewed, with zero document deficiencies, leading straight to a virtual site visit. Embracing the Video Scribe technology helped to educate NWH for a successful survey.

On Aug. 23, 2021, the American Nurses Credentialing Center re-designated NWH as a Magnet organization for the third time, with 15 exemplars. Exemplars included outperformance of the vendor’s national mean and comparison cohort for registered nurse satisfaction, inpatient and ambulatory nursing-sensitive indicators and patient satisfaction for all eight quarters on 100% of the units. During the site visit, it was evident that clinical nurses were routinely using technology and innovation to deliver culturally and socially sensitive care throughout the organization and in the community.

Examples of the technology and innovation that led to exemplars included:                      

  • a COVID-19 socialization program, which brought iPads to the isolated senior community where 2,500 seniors participated in chair yoga; 
  • a COVID-19 socialization program for prolonged COVID-19-isolated patients that collaborated with integrative health and used iPads, music therapy, Reiki and reflexology;  
  • employing an Angel Eye Camera in the neonatal intensive care unit; 
  • a sensory cart for children with autism;
  • a community garden for patients in need at time of discharge; and
  • serving underserved populations globally. 

Check out NWH’s video for an in-depth look at its Magnet journey.

For more information, contact Cathy Waters, MSN, RN, OCN, NEA-BC, director, nursing quality and Magnet program, quality management, at cwaters1@northwell.edu or 914.242.8156, or Aileen Gallivan, MSN, BSN, CPN, assistant director, nursing quality, at agallivan@northwell.edu or 914.666.1495.