Comparison of Patient Outcomes in Magnet and Non-Magnet Hospitals


Colleen Goode, Mary Blegen, Shin Hye Park, Thomas Vaughn, Joanne Spetz

Dec. 11, 2011

OBJECTIVE: This study compared patient outcomes and staffing in Magnet® and non-Magnet hospitals.

BACKGROUND: The pursuit of Magnet designation is a highly regarded program for improving staff and patient outcomes. Research has confirmed that Magnet hospitals provide positive work environments for nurses. Research related to patient outcomes in Magnet hospitals is scarce, and results vary.

METHODS: The University Health Systems Consortium provided the clinical and operational databases for the study. Using bivariate and multivariate analyses, a comparison of patient outcomes and nurse staffing in general units and ICUs of Magnet and non-Magnet hospitals was studied.

OUTCOMES: Non-Magnet hospitals had better patient outcomes than Magnet hospitals. Magnet hospitals had slightly better outcomes for pressure ulcers, but infections, postoperative sepsis, and postoperative metabolic derangement outcomes were worse in Magnet hospitals. Magnet hospitals also had lower staffing numbers.

CONCLUSIONS: Magnet hospitals in this study had less total staff and a lower RN skill mix compared with non-Magnet hospitals, which contributed to the outcomes.

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