U.S. Hospitals have made significant investments during the last decade in achieving distinction through national recognition programs including Baldridge®, Magnet®, Planetree and others. Emphasis on exceeding national benchmarks in quality, safety, engagement, and experience help hospitals stand out. Recruitment and retention of a strong nursing and clinical workforce continues to be a top strategic priority for healthcare leaders. You can understand why when you consider that RN labor costs make up 25.5% of a hospitals budget.
One of the most valued recognitions of distinction, when it comes to recruitment and retention of nursing, is Magnet® designation. Just under 10% of hospitals have achieved Magnet®. Significantly, many hospitals see this designation as a key to their future success and survival. While many hospitals have made progress, only a fraction of those who pursue Magnet® are successful. Re-designation, which must happen every 4 years, is similarly difficult to achieve.
It turns out sustaining excellence is trickier than achieving it in the first place. This is a story of one such hospital’s experience. By deconstructing their journey, you will gain insight into the critical ingredients of a culture of continuing excellence. This 300-bed community teaching hospital had received designations, including Planetree Designated® Patient-Centered Hospital, and Magnet® designation as well as the construction of a brand-new hospital building. Yet, the challenge was sustaining excellence over time. Sustainment turned out to be their Achilles heel.