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Emory Healthcare

Demonstrating excellence in nursing care: Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital & Nash Hospitals, Inc.

Patient experience and outcomes are highly influenced by nurses. After all, nurses tend to spend more time in direct contact with patients than any other healthcare profession. The Pathways to Excellence Program® and the Magnet Recognition Program® are great indicators of a hospital's ability to sustain optimal work environments where nurses are empowered to excel in their practice and deliver patient care that is innovative, safe, and focused on quality outcomes.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association, was created to promote excellence in nursing through credentialing programs. Two prestigious credentialing opportunities for healthcare organizations include The Pathways to Excellence Program® and the Magnet Recognition Program®. Today we are proud to congratulate two Cerner clients as recent recipients of these awards.

Cerner has many facilities designated as Magnet facilities. However, a community hospital outside of Atlanta has managed to distinguish itself among all other Magnet facilities. Nestled just inside interstate 285, sits the third facility in the world, and Georgia's first hospital, to receive Magnet Recognition for Nursing Excellence. The 64-mile loop encircling Atlanta is often referred to as the "Perimeter," and located in its northeast quadrant is Emory Saint Joseph Hospital. The 410-bed hospital also holds the distinct honor of being the only community hospital in the world to receive Magnet recognition five consecutive times. In addition, Emory Healthcare is one of two health systems in Georgia to have multiple hospitals designated as Magnet facilities – Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Emory University Hospital, which was recognized for the first time in January.

We asked Kim Sharkey, the nurse executive heading up the Magnet practice here at Cerner, to provide her perspective on the importance of Magnet designation. As a doctoral-prepared former Magnet Program Appraiser, we were certain she would be able to offer valuable insight on the subject. She believes, "Magnet designation is the ultimate credential a healthcare organization can receive for high quality nursing care and is the leading source for dissemination of successful nursing practices worldwide."

In addition to being a Magnet Program appraiser, Dr. Sharkey is Emory Saint Joseph's former Chief Nursing Executive (CNE). As CNE, Dr. Sharkey and her team laid the foundation that brought Emory Saint Joseph its first Magnet designation in 1995. Dr. Sharkey noted that it is also the only community hospital in the world that has sustained Magnet designation for 20 years. "Obtaining initial designation for either program is a powerful acknowledgement of an organization’s commitment its workforce and its patients,” she said. “Sustaining the designation over time is an ongoing journey of dedication to high standards; constantly evaluating existing structures and processes against the outcomes achieved in order to maintain excellence in a changing healthcare environment.”

The ANCC also co-sponsors The Pathway Award, which recognizes a hospital that demonstrates innovation and technology to create a positive nurse practice environment. This year's Pathway Award winner is Nash Hospitals, Inc. for its CareAware Connect™ project. The mobile technology project links the hospital's EHR and nurse-call systems with smart phone technology, providing nurses with access to real-time data whenever and wherever they need it. The smartphone device also combines multiple devices in to one, eliminating the need to carry an additional pager, medication scanner, phone, intercom device, specimen scanner or location device. Patient data is received as soon as it is resulted in the EHR and no patient's call goes unanswered.

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.