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Magnetic work environments

Patient experience outcomes in Magnet versus non-Magnet hospitals

McCaughey, Deirdre; McGhan, Gwen E.; Rathert, Cheryl; Williams, Jessica H.; Hearld, Kristine R.

doi: 10.1097/HMR.0000000000000198

Background: The term Magnet hospital is an official designation ascribed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for hospitals that meet specific criteria indicating they have a “magnetic work environment” for nurses. The objective of the Magnet designation is to encourage hospitals to design work in such a way as to attract and retain high-quality nurses and thus improve the quality of patient care. Empirical research has demonstrated that hospitals who earn a Magnet designation appear to have nurses who are more satisfied and committed to their work environments. Although research on whether patients are more satisfied with their care in these hospitals is still in its infancy, preliminary studies suggest that patients receiving care at Magnet-designated hospitals report more positive care experiences.

Purpose: This study used a large secondary survey data set to explore the extent to which inpatient perceptions differed between Magnet and non-Magnet hospitals.

Methodology: Ordinal logistic and multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to examine whether Magnet hospital status and positive nurse communication are related to overall hospital rating and willingness of patients to recommend the hospital.

Results: Results indicated that patients treated at a Magnet hospital and patients who rated nurses’ communication highly were significantly more satisfied and more likely to say they would recommend the hospital.

Conclusions: Evidence from this study suggests that it would be worthwhile for hospital leaders to consider organizational policies and practices consistent with the criteria put forth for Magnet hospital designation.

Deirdre McCaughey, PhD, MBA, is Associate Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. E-mail:

Gwen E. McGhan, PhD, RN, is Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Cheryl Rathert, PhD, is Associate Professor, School of Allied Health Professions, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.

Jessica H. Williams, PhD, MPH, is Assistant Professor, School of Health Professions, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Kristine R. Hearld, PhD, is Assistant Professor, School of Health Professions, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Online date: April 3, 2018

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