BENNINGTON >> Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) has attained its fourth Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the highest honor an organization can receive for excellence in nursing. SVMC was the first hospital in Vermont to receive the designation. This fourth consecutive recognition places SVMC in an elite community of only three four-time designees in New England and one of only 31 four-time designees in the world.
"Being recognized by Magnet is a tremendous honor," said SVMC's President and CEO Thomas A. Dee, FACHE. "We pursue this designation, because it holds us to the absolute highest standard. This fourth achievement affirms the foundation of nursing excellence we have built at SVMC and our continued commitment to provide exceptional care for our patients."
Obtaining Magnet recognition requires the integration of the program's concepts: transformational leadership, structural empowerment, exemplary professional practice, innovation, and the measurement of outcomes. The concepts are evidenced in departmental organization and governance. Nurses work with the support and guidance of their supervisors and in collaboration with other departments to improve care.
"We are so proud of the nurses and others who have worked tirelessly to conceptualize, execute, and document the processes that led to this prestigious achievement," said Carol Conroy, chief nursing officer and vice president of operations.
The program's concepts have a proven association with the highest quality care and better hospital performance overall. Patients in Magnet facilities report higher satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help, and receipt of discharge information. Magnet hospitals receive better outcomes in key performance indicators, including rates of falls, skin integrity, and risk of 30-day mortality. In addition, Magnet facilities have higher job satisfaction among nurses, more highly trained nurses, and lower turnover rates. Highly qualified and satisfied staffs are shown to have a positive impact on patient safety, and are more likely to prevent adverse events that can harm patients and increase hospital costs.
"Magnet status is one of the most powerful indications of hospital quality," said Chair of SVHC's Board of Trustees David Meiselman. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we'd like to thank our nurses and the teams who work with them to achieve this level of excellence. Ultimately, it's patients who win."
Three SVMC programs were noted by Magnet appraisers as exemplary:
·Transitional Care Nursing, which drastically reduces hospital readmission rates;
·Safe Arms, a program that keeps infants withdrawing from opiates from being transferred to hospitals further from their families; and
·the Community Care Team, which brings leaders from the most often used services together to collaborate on care for patients with complex needs.
"Magnet shares our innovations with others to improve nursing practice globally," Conroy added. "In this way, we are able to benefit patients right here while paving the way for other hospitals to improve care for their communities."
The Magnet review is a rigorous year-long process. The documentation a hospital presents must meet a high standard in order to continue to the next level, an on-site appraisal. The appraisal is a thorough in-person review of all aspects of nursing, including the collection of feedback from leaders, staff, and community members.
Hospitals must reapply for Magnet recognition every four years. SVMC adopted Magnet standards in 1998 and was first designated in 2002. At every stage, facilities undergoing the redesignation process must provide evidence that their nursing teams have sustained and surpassed their execution of Magnet standards since the previous review.
"Our 16 year partnership with Magnet has been so rewarding. The program sets forth a tremendous challenge," Conroy said. "We continue to accept it for all the benefits to patients, for nurses' satisfaction, and for the culture of excellence it inspires at SVMC."
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), a 99-bed community hospital, whose providers are members of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians. SVMC's services include an emergency department staffed by physicians each of whom is board certified in emergency medicine; the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, which is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and managed by Dartmouth-Hitchcock; and a fully-digital imaging department. SVMC also includes 19 primary and specialty care practices and primary care offices in Bennington, Manchester, Pownal, West Dover, and Wilmington, VT. In addition to SVMC, SVHC includes the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, a 150-bed long- and short-term care skilled nursing facility, and the SVHC Foundation. To learn more, visit svhealthcare.org.