How Your Nursing Program Can Gather Evidence for Magnet Recognition

Updated: Sep 12

By Paul Gallese, PT, MBA

The Magnet Model is the next generation Magnet Recognition Program from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). While providing a framework for nursing practice and research, the model serves as a roadmap for healthcare organizations seeking to achieve Magnet recognition – a measure of the strength and quality of their nursing.

To achieve and maintain Magnet status, hospitals must provide evidence of nursing excellence and innovation in the pursuit of quality and safety improvement. Only about 8 percent of U.S. hospitals have received the Magnet designation.

As a partner to hospitals using hand hygiene compliance and workflow data analytics to improve patient safety and achieve better outcomes, Vitalacy can help nurse leaders to gather evidence required by the Magnet application process.

Vitalacy’s Patient Safety Platform can help nursing units gather evidence of improvements in hand hygiene compliance, purposeful nurse rounding, and nurse fatigue prevention. In turn, these quality and safety improvements can be linked to fewer healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), healthcare-acquired conditions (HACs), and adverse drug events (Nour-Omid, 2019).

The Magnet Model has five components: transformational leadership, structural empowerment, exemplary professional practice, new knowledge innovations, and empirical outcomes.

Vitalacy can help you to gather evidence within all five of these components.

1. Transformational leadership

Leaders have the ability to influence others within an organization to undertake transformational initiatives. The Magnet Model looks for evidence of planned organizational change that encourages innovation through activities such as strategic planning and advocacy.

Implementing the Vitalacy Patient Safety Platform requires an organizational commitment to an innovative way of gathering and curating hand hygiene compliance and workflow data and translating the resulting information into patient safety improvements including reduced healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and healthcare-acquired conditions (HACs) such as falls, pressure ulcers and venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Through automated electronic monitoring of nurse workflow, your hospital can acquire credible and replicable data that will provide the foundation for transformational change leading to more effective and highly reliable patient care and better health outcomes for your patients.

2. Structural empowerment

This second Magnet Model component describes organizational policies and processes that empower nurses to practice professionally and autonomously. Engaging and developing nursing professionals and recognizing them for their contributions are important aspects of this component.

Vitalacy can help you engage nurses and recognize them for their important work through the work groups we organize for all of our clients. We believe the work group is the governing body of organizational quality improvement that encourages innovation.

The work groups that Vitalacy organizes broadly represent constituencies within a hospital that have a material stake in the sustainable improvement of clinical outcomes; these constituencies include nurses, physicians, quality and safety staff, facilities management, and operations. We have found that the participation of these professionals is what turns workflow data into the information and insights required to build reliable and effective patient care systems.

For example, noting that the Vitalacy system can track the movement of caregivers through their work day, a nurse manager asked if the system could track when and for how long care providers interacted in patient rooms. Her question rose from a concern about the high fall rate among severely immuno-compromised end-stage cancer patients at the medical center.

This question led to the development of Vitalacy’s purposeful nurse rounding data module, which was implemented for the first time at this medical center. The module identifies which staff member completed rounding in each room, at what time, and for how long. By viewing activity by staff and room, managers can ensure that caregivers get alerts when patients have not been visited when necessary and can identify high- and low-performing staff to target education and training (Gallese, June 2019).

3. Exemplary Professional Practice

The Magnet Model application process asks applicants to provide evidence that an exemplary professional practice model has been adopted. Also, the model looks for evidence pertaining to how staffing, scheduling and budgeting decisions are made.

The Vitalacy Patient Safety Platform generates hand hygiene compliance and workflow data that can be used to identify and recognize top performers and to demonstrate that standards of care are being met. Also, workflow data from the platform can be curated to implement and monitor unit staff and resource decisions (Gallese, Aug. 2019).

4. New Knowledge Innovations

The Magnet Model looks for evidence of safety culture, quality care monitoring and improvement, evidence-based practice, and innovation. Implementing the Vitalacy Patient Safety Platform can lead to advances in organizational safety culture, workflow improvements and safe, more effective care leading to lower rates of HAIs and HACs.

Vitalacy’s automated hand hygiene compliance monitoring measures quality and safety improvement. The platform evaluates nursing practice quality with real-time data and innovates nursing practice by improving the decision-making process.

5. Empirical Outcomes

The Magnet process requires concrete data on the difference a hospital has made in pursuit of quality and safety improvement. In early 2017, the Vitalacy system was implemented in about half the medical and surgical beds in an academic medical center with a higher-than-average HAI rate; this rate was high despite the medical center reporting direct observation hand hygiene compliance rates of more than 90 percent on 1,500 direct observations per quarter.

Immediately after implementation, Vitalacy’s automated hand hygiene compliance tracking found that the actual hand hygiene compliance was about 30 percent when healthcare providers did not receive vibration alerts on their wristbands. After activating the wristband alerts, the compliance rate increased to more than 70 percent over the course of about one week. Coincidentally, HAI incidence decreased both on the monitored units and medical center-wide for two consecutive quarters. Due to these initial results, the medical center is expanding the project to all patient care units.



Gallese, P. What are the benefits of purposeful rounding? Vitalacy Blog, June 19, 2019

Gallese, P. Why workflow monitoring is the future of patient safety. Vitalacy Blog, Aug. 6, 2019

Nour-Omid, J. What do VTE, pressure ulcers, falls and adverse drug events have in common? Vitalacy Blog, July 9, 2019)

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