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John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital Earns Redesignation as a 'Magnet' Facility

Honor ranks the quality of the hospital's patient care in the nation's top 2 percent

At 1:35 p.m. today, John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital was notified in a phone call from the American Nurses Association that it has become the first medical facility in the Valley to be redesignated a Magnet facility by the nation's foremost authority on the quality of patient care.

John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital Earns Magnet Redesignation - 3386
Sue Hanauer, left, vice president of Patient Care Services at John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital, and Cathy Lindstrom, vice president of Clinical & Support Services at North Mountain, celebrate the Magnet redesignation with co-workers on Monday, April 13.

More than 150 John C. Lincoln co-workers were present at the hospital's Cowden Center to hear the phone call from Gail A. Wolf, the 2008-09 chairperson of the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on the Magnet Recognition Program. They erupted in cheers when the hospital's Magnet redesignation was confirmed.

Magnet status is based on the 14 Forces of Magnetism, which are measurable criteria for patient care. Magnet designation is considered the nation's gold standard for nursing quality. Only about 4 percent of the nation's 6,000-plus hospitals have earned Magnet status. Less than half that group have earned redesignation.

"You should know this was a unanimous decision by the Commission," Wolf said in the call to Sue Hanauer, vice president for Patient Care Services at the North Mountain hospital, which was broadcast over the speakers to the audience of nurses, other patient care professionals and administrators. "This puts you back into the 2 percent club, the small percentage of hospitals that have qualified for redesignation as Magnet.

"Redesignation is much harder to earn than initial designation as a Magnet facility," Wolf said. "Once a hospital earns Magnet, it's hard to maintain the momentum and then go beyond to the next level. This is a very prestigious honor and you are very deserving."

The hallmark of Magnet hospitals is the way all staff work together to serve patients best. Its keys are collegial collaboration and empowering the bedside nurse to provide the best possible patient care.

Collaboration includes shared leadership — the opportunity for nurses at all levels to work with physicians and hospital administrators to develop or improve patient care policies and procedures. Empowered nurses have the education, skills and authority to take action to make changes they see are needed to improve patient care.

In December 2004, John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital became the first in the Valley to receive Magnet status, which must be renewed every four years in order to retain the designation. John C. Lincoln's Magnet renewal application paperwork and documentation — approximately 1,600 pages of it—were submitted in December 2008.

At the end of January 2009, surveyors from the Commission on the Magnet Recognition Program completed a three-day site visit at the hospital, during which they verified, clarified and amplified the information submitted in the redesignation application. The surveyors interviewed dozens of nurses as well as physicians, hospital administrators and other members of the hospital's interdisciplinary patient care team.

"This is a huge honor," Hanauer said. "It means that once again the excellence of our patient care is ranked by experts with the best in the nation.

"The important thing about Magnet is that it reflects the quality of patient care throughout our hospital — this is recognition we all share," Hanauer said. "It is an honor for all of our co-workers. Thank you for everything you do that makes us what we are!"

John C. Lincoln Health Network President and CEO Rhonda Forsyth added, "While I was very confident this would happen, Magnet standards change and every year more is demanded of hospitals to meet these standards. The North Mountain team is to be recognized for a job very well done."

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