Inside scoop from our experts: Taking the bite out of demographics

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, December 8, 2009

This week, a reader asks about collecting demographic information. Read the response from Barbara J. Hannon, RN, MSN, CPHQ, ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® (MRP) coordinator at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, responds to this month's reader query.

Q. How can we collect the demographics needed for MRP designation?

A. Many hospitals applying for MRP designation tend to focus mainly on the overview documents and the sources of evidence, leaving the demographics as the last thing to be done. It is important to note that of the three parts of the application process, only the demographics must be conducted annually. And although the main application detailing the sources of evidence and overview are revised approximately every three years with a lot of advance warning, the demographics may undergo revision without notice. The MRP project director must check the MRP Web site frequently for any change in data requirements or data definitions.

There is no doubt the demographics can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. There are some pricey software programs available that may help with database creation. However, a good Excel database that can be sorted and help you calculate works just as well.

To "take the bite" out of the demographics, there are three key steps that MRP project directors should take:

  • Build your database carefully, including all the data elements you need
  • Develop a data mining scheme to collect the data you need to fill your Excel spreadsheet
  • Update your database quarterly

Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? If you would like us to consider your query for publication, please e-mail it to senior managing editor Rebecca Hendren at

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