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Niagara Falls Memorial sets out to attain one of the nation’s highest medical accreditations

American Nurses Credentialing Center

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is beginning a long and rigorous process to attain one of the nation’s highest medical accreditations.

“It’s all about patient experience and patient outcomes. It’s not about new equipment and new facilities. It’s all about people and caregivers,” said Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center President Joe Ruffolo as he described Magnet Recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

The hospital is now in the early stages of a three-year effort to attain the accreditation, with Chief Nursing Officer Joann Pellegrino at the helm.

Pellegrino explained the first two years of the process will focus on collecting qualitative and quantitative data on nursing initiatives. The third year focuses on assessment by the ANCC.

“It is a very tough journey,” said Pellegrino. “But it is one which empowers the nurse at the bedside in decision-making. It also teaches nurses to think critically and to be a part of research, data-driven initiatives. It closes the gap between medicine and nursing.”

Only eight percent of health care systems across the country have attained Magnet Recognition, making it what Ruffolo calls the “gold standard in nursing excellency.” He said the extensive learning and leadership development required will be a stretch for the hospital’s staff, but will ultimately show a benefit in higher patient satisfaction and outcomes.

The data collected will help nurses focus on improving treatment, helping patients avoid readmission or emergency visits, and look at nurse retention and satisfaction levels.

“We are coming in and we are doing great work, but we’re just not capturing what we’re doing. And we need to do that with real data,” said Pellegrino. “When we have issues, we need to bring forth real data so that nursing can make a difference, evidence-based changes, and actually be leaders in health care instead of just doing what’s always been done.”

Pellegrino, who helped the Rochester Regional Health System attain their Magnet Recognition, is confident Memorial will join the coveted Magnet ranks.

“It’s in our hearts, it’s in our minds, and we all care about the community and how to do better as health professionals. That’s our goal, and that’s why we became nurses,” said Pelelgrino. “So I really don’t have any hesitation at all.”

Follow WBFO's Avery Schneider on Twitter at @SAvery131.

Avery began his broadcasting career as a disc jockey for WRUB, the University at Buffalo’s student-run radio station.
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