Magnet Hospitals May Provide Better Surgical Outcomes than Non-Magnet Hospitals

Summary: In 1994 the American Nurses Credentialing Center established its Magnet Recognition Program, which evaluates hospitals that are committed to improving practices, particularly delivery of nursing care, that lead to enhanced safety, quality, and patient satisfaction. To determine whether Magnet designation is associated with better patient outcomes or whether patient outcomes improve after Magnet designation, researchers analyzed surgical outcomes over a 13-year period among 331 Magnet hospitals, compared with 662 non-Magnet hospitals. The researchers found that patient outcomes were better at Magnet hospitals than at their non-Magnet counterparts. Surgical patients treated at Magnet hospitals were nearly 8 percent less likely to die within 30 days following their procedure, and the patients were also less likely to die if they had postoperative complications. However, mortality rates did not change following Magnet designation. The researchers concluded that the Magnet program recognizes hospitals that deliver high-quality care but does not lead to additional improvements in surgical care following Magnet designation.

Citation: Friese CR, Xia R, Ghaferi A, et al. Hospitals In ‘Magnet’ Program Show Better Patient Outcomes On Mortality Measures Compared To Non-'Magnet' Hospitals. Health Aff. 2015 Jun; 34(6):986–92. PMID: 26056204