As one of my colleagues likes to ask… How do you eat an elephant? Of course, the answer is one bite at a time. Same holds true for answering the question: How do you complete the DDCT®? One line at a time.
If you ask anyone who has had the experience of completing this task, they will tell you it is a daunting experience, especially the first time. So here are some things to think about when tackling the DDCT beast.
What is the Demographic Information for the Demographic Data Collection Tool® (DDCT®)?
The DDCT is a web-based portal, provided by the ANCC, for the purposes of submitting demographic information related to the RNs, LPNs, and unlicensed personnel that work in your organization. It is required that organizations submit this information at initial designation, or redesignation, on the fifteenth day of the month prior to document submission, and at the 2-year mark post designation on or before the last day of the anniversary month. (Refer to p. 131-132) in the 2023 Magnet Application Manual®.
How Long Does it Take to Complete the DDCT?
The time it takes to complete can vary from organization to organization. There are many contributing factors, one being access to the information and in the form needed to complete the DDCT. Larger organizations may have information in many different places. Smaller organizations, in addition to not having as many units, may have data in more centralized places. Trying to figure out who holds the information is task number one. Then figuring out if it is accurate, or in the right format is task number two, and believe it or not, sometimes organizations don’t collect the information needed. In that case, they must request to begin collecting and often have to come up with a manual process to collect the information.
As with any large project, start early and leave a trail for the next person of how you did it, and who you talked to get this information. I suggested saving the reports you received so next time you know and can show others what exactly you need. There have been estimates that it can take upwards of 80 hours to complete the DDCT® and again this is dependent on the ease of tracking down data.
Where do I begin?
Create a timeline of when you will get the reports. Make sure to start early.
Go to the ANCC website and look under program tools/magnet program tools/ DDCT. You will find many sources of information on how to work through DDCT. Download the user guide, and collection tools, look at the FAQs, and watch the video vignettes. It will be very helpful to use these tools to get started and work through each line of the definitions to understand what is expected.
Remember: almost everything is at the unit level and everything is in FTEs.
Step One List –
Start with getting a list of all units/departments/clinics where nurses are working that report up through the CNO/CNE
Step Two Table of Information-
Make a table of the information you need and who you will contact to get the information.
For example (this list is not all inclusive)
- Units to include – Human Resources (HR)
- RN education levels by FTE – HR (maybe it’s a manual process, who holds that information?)
- RN Budgeted FTEs/unit – Finance
- LPN budgeted FTEs/unit – Finance
- UAP budgeted FTEs/unit – Finance
Think about people you can partner with in your organization to get this completed. The Chief Nursing Officer may know who holds the information you need. Others to consider are the nurse executive team, managers, people who have a long history with the organization, human resource partners, finance partners, and administrative support.
Creative Health Care Management and Your Magnet Journey
For support with the DDCT or any aspect of your Magnet journey contact:
Marky Medeiros @ firstname.lastname@example.org
American Nurses Credentialing Center. (2021). 2023 Magnet® Application Manual. Silver Springs, MD.
MAGNET®, Magnet Recognition Program®, ANCC Magnet Recognition®, Journey to Magnet Excellence®, Pathway to Excellence® Program, Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care®, Demographic Data Collection Tool®, and DDCT® are registered trademarks of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Practice Transition Accreditation Program™ and PTAP™ are trademarks of the ANCC. The products and services of Creative Health Care Management are neither sponsored nor endorsed by ANCC. All Rights Reserved.
Marky has expertise in aligning people and processes, identifying emerging issues, and assessing the effectiveness of organizational interventions. The result: enduring measurable improvement. Marky uses her deep health care experience along with evidence-based practices to co-create a customized improvement plan with clients.