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Straight Talk
A weekly update from management on the issues that matter most.

Aug 25, 2016
Nursing excellence at NCH is a core value and a critical competence for our 98,000 emergency room visits and 40,000 inpatient and outpatient encounters.

Under the guidance of Associate Chief Nursing Officer Ilia Echevarria, we recently submitted our 650-page document for reaccreditation of the “Pathway to Excellence” which we first received three years ago and which validates our nursing processes. NCH is one of only ten hospitals in Florida to have Pathway designation; there are 139 Pathway-designated hospitals nationwide. The Pathway designation is also a milestone on the journey to Magnet Status.

Magnet Status hospitals have objectively proven better outcomes, improved patient satisfaction, higher levels of professionalism, superior inter-professional teamwork, better retention, and more engaged colleagues. All these factors are associated with nurses having higher levels of education. Florida has only 23 Magnet hospitals with the closest in Sarasota. We are pursuing Magnet designation with a goal of document submission in 2017.

Elevating professional standards and clinical competency provides the highest quality of patient care, which ultimately leads to the best outcomes. With that in mind, our clinical team has:

  • Established targets for the advancement of nursing in a Nursing Strategic Plan.
  • Promoted nursing autonomy through an established Professional Practice Model and Shared Decision-Making structure.
  • Ensured a “voice” at the table with front-line staff nurse representation at Nursing Executive Council and the NCH Board of Trustees.
  • Implemented various technology tools to facilitate workflow and patient care
  • Promoted interdisciplinary partnerships through committees and performance improvement initiatives.
  • Recognized nurses for their contributions through various award programs.

The Pathway to Excellence re-designation requires input and feedback from nurses through a nurse survey which is starting shortly. The survey is confidential and anonymous. We encourage all full-time, part-time, per diem, float, agency, direct and non-direct nurses to share their thoughts and opinions.

Coming this fall is a new innovative process—“Nursing Peer Review.” The American Nurses Association defines Peer Review as “a process by which practicing RNs systemically assess, monitor, and make judgments about the quality of nursing care provided by peers as measured against professional standards of practice.” Peer review is focused on professional growth and is not linked to compensation. Peer review is always completed by a peer in the same role holding the same license. It is not voluntary and not anonymous. Although many may be slightly uncomfortable at first, transparency is here to stay and everyone improves as the patient benefits. Routine timely feedback with the expectation of continuous improvement is very welcome in our learning culture. Physicians are also evolving toward more vigorous peer review which ultimately will be good for all concerned.

From Pathway to Magnet Status, NCH stands for “Nurses Care Here,” as we help everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life.


Allen Weiss, MD

President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss and The NCH Healthcare System by clicking here.