Inside scoop from our experts: Site visit tips

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, April 30, 2010

This week’s question on staff education comes from a discussion on JourneyTalk. Meryl Montgomery, RN, MSN, nursing QI coordinator with the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, provides some insight.

Q: I am interested in talking with a MRP program director who has gone through a site visit with the new MRP model. I am particularly interested in an education plan that was built around the five components.

A: We had our site visit in October, but utilizing the 2005 standards. We were re-designated in December. I don’t think we’ll change our site visit preparation with the new standards, however, so I’ll share what we did that was successful. Content will vary by what standards are in place when you submit your documentation, but strategies for education and preparation could stay the same. Our most successful strategies (we surveyed and interviewed our various nursing councils after the site visit to assess this) were:

  • Mock surveys: We use an interview tool that resides on our MRP intranet site so units can practice with each other, but it does help having someone they don’t know conduct the survey. It helps simulate the “real deal”
  • Dress rehearsals the week before site visit
  • House and Unit Guide process: Nurses self-select (from nurses scheduled the days of the mock survey) to prepare a greeting and how they would like to tour the appraiser, what key points they would like to be sure the appraisers hear, etc. We have designated House Guides accompany the appraisers—one to go along with the appraiser, a second to be where the group meetings/ interviews and open forums will be to expedite traffic, ensure meals are there, etc.
  • Current unit bulletin boards—Performance improvement data, unit council membership/ goals/ accomplishments, etc.: We have a list the council chairs came up with of standardized content, but each unit displays differently.
  • Online and paper reference manual: This includes a copy of what documentation was submitted related to the specific unit where the paper copy of the manual is. Nurses like seeing their names in the document and can also update the appraiser about status of the project or item referenced.
  • MRP Fair: Nurses set this up--games, prizes, and fun education related to MRP standards. It’s a good chance for non-nursing departments to come and be reminded about what MRP is all about.
  • CNO-hosted town meetings with all disciplines
  • Practice group interviews: Each group (e.g., the Nurse Practice Council, community, Board, etc.) received a listing of relevant standards ahead of time. Someone from nursing conducted the practice interviews.
  • A theme: This year we used “UP with MRP” from the Disney movie “UP.” We had ribbons and stickers and signs made with our professional practice model, which is depicted by an antebellum house, being lifted in the air by balloons. We also had each unit create a paper flyer to welcome the appraiser to the unit, with the “UP” and house theme.
  • Leadership and council chairs attended staff meetings to answer questions and educate specific to unit needs
  • We held interdepartmental nurse open forums for nurses to hear what other departments do for EBP, PI, research, innovation, etc. Nurses love hearing about their peers.
  • Pocket cards
  • Articles in hospital newsletter
  • Video depicting MRP at our hospital (home grown video): The journey, impact, etc.
  • Roving MRP Champion cart with games and prizes (mostly chocolate)
  • We had an external consultant conduct a site visit as well to balance our perception and highlight areas for improvement. This would need to be done two to three months out.
  • Wide dissemination of nursing annual report, which highlighted the sources of evidence and the strengths of each nursing unit

Of course, which of these you utilize depends on your hospital, the length of time you have, how prepared your nurses/ hospital is for surveys in general, and more.

Editor's note: On JourneyTalk you can network with your peers, discuss the new manual, share your helpful tips, and get advice on how to meet the program's expectations. Become a member of JourneyTalk when you subscribe to HCPro's Resource Center for the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®.

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