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Senior Vice President Discusses CTCA's Recent Honor

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Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern) was recently granted Magnet® Recognition for excellence in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This esteemed honor puts the hospital as one of 37 Magnet organizations in Illinois.

CTCA earned magnet recognition for its exceptional degree of nurse satisfaction, patient satisfaction and commitment to excellence. What does this fine honor mean for the medical institution's future?

Jacklynn Lesniak MS, BSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services at CTCA talked to Brandi Walker about what this honor means for the hospital now, whom she feels benefits the most from it and how the Magnet Recognition will affect CTCA's future.

What does earning Magnet® Recognition mean for CTCA at Midwestern?

Our Magnet journey at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center has been one of dedication, collaboration and personal growth for all involved. Earning Magnet® Recognition has allowed our staff and leadership to grow as clinicians, as individuals, as leaders and as teammates. It is the ultimate benchmark for quality of care and provides our patients and their families a tangible difference in the clinical excellence they can expect.

Less than seven percent of hospitals nationally earn Magnet Recognition. Magnet influences our hospital on three major fronts: clinical excellence, talent and patient experience. Magnet fosters a more collaborate culture within the hospital and advances nursing standards and practices. This translates to better quality. Magnet helps attract and retain top talent. Being Magnet, hospitals experience a decrease in nurse vacancy rates, an increase in nurse retention, and an increase in overall nurse satisfaction. This stability lowers nurse burnout and contributes to the highest levels of nursing care excellence. All of this results in a positive work environment for nurses and a climate of patient safety that provides for an improved patient experience.

2. The designation is granted for four years. What happens after this four-year term has ended?

We began to work on our re-designation plan immediately after receiving the news that we were awarded Magnet status. Throughout the four years, there are specific standards that need to be maintained and the bar for performance will continue to rise. During our fourth year of designation, we will submit appropriate documentation for re-designation.

3. What impact does this recognition have on the economy of the Lake County community?

Magnet-designated hospitals experience better economic performance and a higher measurable level of financial return. Improved attraction and retention of nurses, for instance, yields significant savings in recruitment. In addition, a positive working environment has been proven to lower the incidence of injuries in nurses.

Magnet-recognized facilities routinely appear at the top of the nation’s most prestigious hospital and healthcare rankings, including U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of “America’s Best Hospitals” and Fortune magazine’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For,” which can only help to boost the economy of Lake County as well. As CTCA at Midwestern continues to attract top talent and is increasingly sought after for quality cancer care, that business will directly impact Lake County simply by drawing people and commerce to our community.

4. Who do you feel benefits the most from this honor?

Without question, our patients benefit most. When nurses are happier and more engaged, patient care improves. Nurses play an important role in the overall hospital experience for patients and their families. They are the primary source of care and support during some of the most vulnerable times in a person’s life. At CTCA at Midwestern, our Magnet-recognized nurses are experienced and attentive, and spend more time at the bedsides providing compassionate care than at most other hospitals. At its core, reaching this level of designation proves that nursing at CTCA at Midwestern is about great practice and great care.

5. How would this designation impact the future of this medical facility?

Magnet’s impact on our future will be continuous improvement in patient outcomes. CTCA at Midwestern is committed to maintaining its Magnet status. Since re-designation is required every four years, we will need to consistently challenge ourselves to raise the bar on our own patient outcomes. In order to do so, we must demonstrate a consistent delivery of superior patient care. That means further improvements in the quality of nursing leadership, patient outcomes, coordination and collaboration across the continuum of care, and processes for measuring and improving the quality and delivery of care we provide to our patients every day.

For more information on the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet Recognition Program, visit http://www.nursecredentialing.org/Magnet.aspx. You could also find more information on Lesniak via the CTCA website www.cancercenter.com.

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