By Geneva Slupski
As a nurse at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for 25 years, Susan Crandall, RN, BSN, CCRN, knew her workplace aspired to high standards when it came to serving patients and their families.
To Crandall, a staff nurse in the pediatric ICU, a second Magnet designation means sharing that knowledge with the rest of the country. In January, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles received the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s most distinguished award for the second time in four years. The Magnet Recognition Program recognizes hospitals for top patient care, quality nursing and innovations in nursing and healthcare.
“I’ve always known that we provide incredible care at Children’s Hospital, but hearing it from a national organization was really rewarding,” said Crandall, who also serves as one of the hospital’s Magnet program managers. “We’re certainly proud.”
Almost every one of the hospital’s 1,500 nurses participated in the redesignation process, Crandall said. About 40 nurses served as Magnet champions, providing critical information about their departments to the hospital’s Magnet team, while more than 100 staff members used that data to help write a document to submit to the ANCC.
“I think we have a very committed staff,” Crandall said. “They have really raised the bar in their own practice. They’re rising to the occasion.”
During the second designation process, the ANCC zeroed in on data and outcomes, Crandall said. “We couldn’t just do a survey of the patients and say, ‘Everyone likes it,” Crandall said. “There had to be data that showed improvement in the amount of patients we were able to help. We had to have data to prove that what we were saying was true. Trying to monitor and grasp that much data is a big job.”
The ANCC was particularly impressed with the amount of teamwork and collaboration involved in the hospital’s move to a new facility in July 2011, said Gloria Verret, RN, CPN. Nurses played a role in the move and the design of the building, said Verret, a staff nurse in the liver/kidney transplant/GI/med/surg unit and a Magnet champion. Among the new amenities is an interactive library where children can sit and read or take books with them to keep, Verret said. The ANCC’s Magnet team listed the library as exemplary, she said.
The new building also includes cutting-edge technology, such as a Get Well Network that brings consoles to patients’ bedsides, allowing parents to learn more about their children’s conditions and medications. Patients also can use the console to play games, watch movies and view the hospital cafeteria menu, Verret said.
The hospital also scored high with the ANCC for its adolescent medicine division and its work in providing care to homeless teens, said Margaux Chan, RN, BSN, CPN, staff nurse in the PACU.
Chan, who serves as a Magnet program manager with Crandall, said the Magnet environment has helped the hospital create a multidisciplinary model of collaborative governance that involves not only nurses, but also physical therapists, pharmacists, chaplains and other staff. She credits collaborative governance for the hospital’s Magnet success a second time.
“Everybody has a voice at Children’s Hospital,” Chan said. “They’re empowered to work together to come up with innovative ideas and listen to everyone.”
For Crandall, who drives more than an hour to work each day, it is a hospitalwide attitude of excellence and teamwork that existed years before Magnet that keeps her coming back.
“The way we take care of kids is different than the hospital down the street or in another city,” Crandall said. “We provide stellar care based on the most current medical practice. I’m proud of the work we do.”