Four tips to achieve excellence in your written documentation

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, April 25, 2006

Scoring within the "excellence" range on the written documentation requires a comprehensive evaluation of the most current practice innovations and projects at both the unit and organizational levels, according to Gina Boring, RN, BSN, ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® project coordinator at Aultman Health Foundation in Canton, OH. "One of our goals in writing the document was for all nurses to be able to open the document and either find a narrative written by a coworker from their unit or find a story that highlighted an innovative practice change on their unit," she says. A simple way to approach this phase of the process is to "think of your document as a mirror that any nurse can find themselves reflected in," says Boring. If you have a similar goal for your written documentation, she suggests four ideas to get you started:

  • Ask staff RNs from each nursing unit to provide their best example of a practice change that has been implemented in the past 12 months.
  • Form a team of content experts to choose which stories best represent which Forces of Magnetism.
  • Include narratives written by staff, physicians, managers, administrators, and the interdisciplinary team. This will give your documentation depth.
  • Include stories from the heart. The appraisers need to understand what the professional culture looks like-but they also need to see nurses representing themselves as caring and compassionate providers.

Source: The best practice above is printed with permission from Gina Boring, RN, BSN

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