Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey
Faced with limited resources, many health care administrators ask themselves whether to invest in Magnet or in the Baldrige Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence. Is one more dispensable than the other?
Magnet designation, now operated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, was approved for creation by the American Nurses Association in 1990. Today, Magnet is used as a way of recognizing hospitals that offer both excellent nursing care and an environment supportive of nurses–based on the characteristics of health care organizations that excel in recruitment and retention of registered nurses.
In 1998, Congress authorized the participation of health care organizations in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for organizational excellence. With funding originally from the Veterans Administration, the Health Care Criteria were published to provide a framework for organizations to examine all parts of their management systems and improve processes and results, from results related to leadership and the workforce to customers, operations, and strategies. The Health Care Criteria were based on the best practices and ideas learned from business organizations that had contributed to the Baldrige Award since 1987.
I asked Donna Poduska, chief nursing officer of Poudre Valley Health System, who is speaking at the 26th Annual Quest for Excellence Conference, and Priscilla Nuwash, system director for performance excellence of University of Colorado Health, about their presentation that focuses on using Baldrige and Magnet together.
What are three reasons that a hospital might find value in implementing both Baldrige and Magnet principles?
- Baldrige and Magnet complement each other in creating a successful organization. Both are based on quality, innovation, and the pursuit of areas for improvement, and Magnet has components that integrate with the areas to address in the Baldrige Criteria. Although they complement and integrate with the other, each also addresses areas that the other does not. Together, they can create an exceptional organization.
- At times, different parts of the organization may not work together as a system; the value of using the Baldrige Criteria and Magnet together is that you are able to identify the best approach from each and deploy that throughout the organization.
- The Baldrige Criteria and Magnet succeed through engaging the workforce. Differing segments of the workforce have differing key elements that engage them. The value of using Magnet and the Baldrige Criteria together is that they produce professional work environments that address key elements for engaging everyone in the workforce.
What are some tips for using them together?
- Emphasize that both are grounded in what is best for the patient, which creates purpose and pride in the workforce.
- Focus on the concept that both the Baldrige Criteria and Magnet are based on evidence-based practice; they learn from each other.
- Both the Baldrige Criteria and Magnet are based on a foundation of having structure, process, and outcomes. Those three premises work together for both the Baldrige Criteria and Magnet. When developing committee structure, capitalize on your existing committees.
- Use one process improvement methodology when making improvements identified by the Baldrige Criteria and by Magnet. Then involve nursing and non-nursing staff in both to get the benefit of differing perspectives.
- Crosswalk your responses in applications for both Magnet and the Baldrige Award. Crosswalks are cost effective and are an additional way to identify best practices.
What else might folks learn at your Quest for Excellence session?
Donna will present a crosswalk visual of Magnet and the Baldrige Criteria and show how the components of Magnet and the Criteria are indispensable for an organization’s performance excellence journey.
For more information, attend Poudre Valley Health System’s special presentation, “How Baldrige and Magnet Are Successful Together,” at the Baldrige Program’s Quest for Excellence® Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.