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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas and Florence Celebrates 1 Year of ‘gold standard’ in nursing

By Jessica Eden

In April, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Fort Thomas is celebrating one full year of their Magnet status. This designation, which was created in 1993, is the ‘gold standard’ of nursing and care and the St. E teams at both Fort Thomas and Florence are celebrating one full year of their ‘gold standard’ status.

How did they celebrate? Cupcakes of course! From Apr. 26 - 28, Jacquie Knapp, Director of Nursing Excellence and Benita Anderson, the V.P. Chief Nursing Officer, came in on each shift and hand-delivered cupcakes to all the various units involved. After a long overnight shift, getting a cupcake at 4:30 a.m. would certainly brighten anyone’s day.

Obtaining this designation is not always easy for organizations. It is based on the 14 Forces of Magnetism and 5 Magnet components and requires a tremendous amount of data, loads of research and lots of teamwork to obtain. Data collected can span anywhere from two to four years and there are 92 standards the organization must meet in order to qualify. Then, there are several rounds in the actual qualifying process.

To become a Magnet designated hospital requires years of preparation that demonstrates high quality and patient satisfaction along with a high level of nurse engagement.  The documents are written to demonstrate five categories including Transformational Leadership, Empirical Outcomes, Structural Empowerment, Exemplary Professional Practice, New Knowledge, Innovation and Practice.

“We tell the story about all of the great things that our nurses are doing for our patients, their families, and the community.  We provide proof that our quality and patient satisfaction scores are above the national benchmarks.  Collaboration and teamwork are key to our success.  Everyone at the hospital is here for one reason and that is to take care of the patient.” said Jacquie.

“There are approximately 5,600 hospitals in the United States and 478 hospitals are designated as a Magnet hospital  which is about 7 percent of the hospitals. There are 7 Magnet hospitals in Kentucky and several in Tri-state area. St. Elizabeth is the largest healthcare system in the area that has this designation.”

What is different about St. E?

They’ve already been operating within these standards so qualifying for Magnet status became a natural ‘next step’ for the organization.

“When you’re trying to explain this to someone as to how this impacts the hospital community, in the older model, the policies and procedures are done from top down. The leader sets the policies and tells the individuals. In a Magnet hospital, we put that at the level of the staff nurse because they're the ones actually doing the work,” said Benita.

“A group of nurses that work together come up with concerns and they do the research to improve. What is Magnet in St. E, is how it’s encultured. You don’t even realize that we’re doing something unique. It’s so integrated in our system, we give the individuals doing the care the power to solve problems, hence the outcome. Go out and find out...and they do.”

What may be a challenge for other hospitals who are seeking Magnet status, the values are already deeply ingrained in St. E’s workforce and culture. “Most of everything we are required to do, we already do. We do it because it’s the right thing to do. We are driven to be a highly reliable hospital. We get the top results,” said Benita. “If we have an issue, we have a process in place to address that issue. We have a truly engaged workforce and we try to meet the needs of every associate to help them find their place in our culture. We also make sure that everyone coming in fits our culture”.

After obtaining their Magnet designation, St. E will need to re-submit to qualify every four years and Benita and Jacquie are so grateful for their devoted team, especially some of the “Magnet Champions” that helped to be cheerleaders in each department.

“Our Magnet Champions are representatives from each unit. They are the cheerleaders of Magnet - the Spirit Igniters,” said Jacquie.

The following nurses are recognized as St. E’s Magnet Champions;

·         Andy Mitchell
·         Angela Rowe
·         Angie Weiss
·         Ashlee Williamson
·         Ashley Owens
·         Beth Mockbee
·         Brenda Hopkins
·         Brittany Sorrell
·         Carol Patterson
·         Chelsea Bezold
·         Chelsea Heilman
·         Courtney Collins
·         Cynthia Stiene
·         Emily Galliher
·         Emily Menetrey
·         Gail Steffen
·         Heidi Kramer
·         Jayne Cline
·         Jennifer Goodpaster
·         Jennifer Humphrey
·         Jennifer Ryal
·         Jerri Abramis
·         Jerry Dailey
·         Jessica Jefferson
·         Jessie Dalton
·         Joyce Perry
·         Karen Harig
·         Karen Rasso
·         Kate Schadler
·         Kristi Dixon
·         Kyla Ford
·         Leslie Stewart
·         Linda Herms
·         Lisa Leopold
·         Mallory Griffin
·         Mary Ann Weckbach
·         Mary Fromeyer
·         Megan Murphy
·         Melissa Clos
·         Nancy Pollitt
·         Nichole Leukering
·         Pamela Lindsay
·         Rachel Fisk
·         Sandra Stauss
·         Terri Emminger
·         Tiffany Hall
·         Tracy Thompson-Lang
·         Whitney Callahan
·         Wilma Dickerson

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