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Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital achieves seventh consecutive Magnet designation for nursing excellence
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Janet Christenbury

Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital is the first hospital to be awarded Magnet with Distinction, as it received word of its seventh consecutive Magnet designation this week from the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet Recognition Program.

ATLANTA – Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital is the first community hospital and one of only two hospitals in the world to achieve its seventh consecutive Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program. Additionally, Emory Saint Joseph’s exceeded Magnet expectations during its survey and site visit process, and is the first hospital awarded Magnet with Distinction.

Dozens of nurses, physicians, administrators, staff and other members of the Emory Saint Joseph’s community were on hand for the announcement this week. Magnet designation is a reflection of nursing professionalism, teamwork and quality in patient care, and the highest national honor for professional nursing practice.

Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital

Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital

Jack Kearse

“Striving for excellent patient care is at the heart of everything we do at Emory Saint Joseph’s,” says Julie Swann, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital. “Being recognized by ANCC with a seventh Magnet designation, and Magnet with Distinction honor, is confirmation that our nursing teams remain steadfast in our mission to deliver compassionate, evidence-based care to our patients.”

In 1995, Emory Saint Joseph’s became the third hospital in the world to receive Magnet designation. The hospital has continued to received Magnet designations every four years since then. Only 10% of hospitals have achieved Magnet designation out of more than 6,000 hospitals in the U.S.

On Nov. 29, the ANCC commended Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital in eight areas of excellence, including:

  • maintaining 80% or greater of professional registered nurses earning higher degrees in nursing
  • outperforming benchmarks on falls with injury, surgical errors, and patient experience with careful listening in 100% of outpatient settings and
  • outperforming benchmarks on patient experience with patient education, among other examples, in 100% of inpatient settings

The ANCC also recognized the hospital for exceptional health promotion in rural Georgia hospitals by offering remote inpatient monitoring of critical care patients through Emory’s eICU (electronic Intensive Care Unit) Program, which was established at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital in 2014.

“Nursing excellence is central to the mission and culture of Emory Saint Joseph’s, and I am so proud of the difference our team makes each and every day for our patients and families,” says Heather Dexter, president of the Emory Healthcare Regional Hospital Division, a new hospital structure which includes Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital. “The dedication to high-quality care, focused on best practices and shared governance, is part of what makes this hospital a special place.”

Magnet recognition has been shown to provide specific benefits to health care organizations and their communities, such as:

  • Higher patient satisfaction
  • Lower mortality rates
  • Higher job satisfaction among nurses
  • Lower nurse reports of intentions to leave their positions

Emory Saint Joseph’s is a part of Emory Healthcare, the only health care system in Georgia to have five hospitals recognized by Magnet, including Emory University Hospital, Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital and the Emory Clinic, which was the first ambulatory clinic in Georgia to receive Magnet recognition last year.

“Magnet recognition demonstrates that nursing excellence and the drive to provide outstanding patient care permeates the culture of a health care institution,” says Sharon Pappas, PhD, RN, FAAN, chief nurse executive for Emory Healthcare. “That culture is clearly a cornerstone at Emory Saint Joseph’s, which time and again has been recognized for its commitment to its community and patients.”

To achieve initial Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. This process includes an electronic application, written documentation, an on-site visit and a review by the Commission on Magnet Recognition. Health care organizations must reapply for Magnet recognition every four years based on adherence to Magnet concepts and demonstrated improvements in patient care and quality.

Magnet recognition is also taken into consideration when health care organizations are ranked nationally for their clinical programs and expertise.

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