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Why Choose a Magnet Hospital?

One of the simplest and most meaningful benchmarks for hospitals today is Magnet designation.  Back in 1981, the American Academy of Nursing commissioned a study to identify hospitals with the best nursing practices in the country. The term "Magnet" was adopted to describe these select hospitals, because they acted as magnets in attracting and retaining outstanding nurses.  

What does this mean for you as a patient?  Research shows that patients cared for in Magnet hospitals have better outcomes.  Magnet hospitals strive for nursing excellence.  They generally have a higher number of BSN prepared nurses, better nurse-to-patient ratios and shared decision-making, and shared leadership within their organizations.

 Mercy Medical Center DubuqueMagnet American Nurses Credentialing Center
 

Mercy Achieves Magnet Re-Designation

Mercy Medical Center - Dubuque received the 134th Magnet designation in the nation in November 2004 and, in 2009, achieved re-designation as Magnet. Only 2% of the nation's hospitals have met the rigorous standards required to achieve re-designation.

Magnet recognition requires that hospitals demonstrate a strong commitment to nursing practice and the practice setting so that nurses and other clinicians are able to provide their best care.  This translates into better results for patients.  Research conducted on Magnet hospitals clearly shows that it does:

  • A study of Medicare patients revealed that Magnet hospitals had five fewer deaths for every 1,000 patients discharged. Considering the size of the Medicare population, this could represent 50,000 fewer deaths per year.
  • Another study of AIDS patients showed that three Magnet hospitals had a 60% lower mortality rate than ten non-Magnet hospitals, and that patient satisfaction was significantly higher.
  • A 1994 study of 39 Magnet hospitals and 195 non-Magnet hospitals revealed a 4.6% lower mortality rate in the Magnet hospitals.

The Joint Commission, which accredits most hospitals in the United States, notes "the Magnet Recognition Program provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive."

To learn more about the Magnet Recognition Program© click here.

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