By MADELEINE ELIZABETH SHERRIER/Montana State News

Bozeman Deaconess Hospital hopes to join the ranks of the top hospitals in the nation for excellence in nursing.

The Magnit Recognition Program is designed to recognize healthcare organizations with quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practices. Bozeman Deaconess has applied for recognition under the program.

Developed in 1993, by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the program initially recognized 41 hospitals and as recently as 2012 395 hospitals of the nation’s 5,500-plus hospitals had won Magnit recognition.

Since the application process began in 2010, Bozeman Deaconess Hospital has implemented a variety of new programs and committees to improve efficiency, as well as naming Kallie Kujawa the Magnit coordinator.

Volunteer services and participation in committee council have become much more prevalent within the nursing staff. Each hospital unit now has a unit-based council that chooses a research topic to implement at bed side.

“Since the journey has begun, patients’ satisfaction scores are high above the benchmark point,” Kujawa said.

A Peer Review Committee is in charge of overseeing patients’ safety, as well as conducting evaluations of the nurses. This committee is also responsible for implementation of a system of pay bonuses for nurses based on criteria set by the Magnit Board.

The program also promotes staff involvement in decision making and lets them have a voice in the formation of hospital policies and standards.

Susan Hanrahan, the intensive care unit clinical nurse educator at Bozeman Deaconess said, “The biggest barrier right now is keeping staff nurses involved and engaged during this long and tedious process, but there is now much more of an emphasis based on specific safety strategies which I believe has approved overall care of our patients greatly.”

Edited by Patrick Hill and Cassidy Geoghegan

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