More than 100 years ago, the use of applied statistics and data visualization was pioneered in the field of nursing. Today, we call it “big data” and nurse leaders in hospitals across the country tap into it every day to not only improve their processes but also to achieve the prestigious credential for nursing excellence and quality patient care: Magnet designation.

Magnet status is an award given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), an affiliate of the American Nurses Association, to hospitals that satisfy a set of criteria designed to measure the strength and quality of their nursing. “Approximately 450 hospitals, or about 8 percent of the hospitals in the U.S., have achieved Magnet designation. However almost 2,000 are actively working to achieve that status,” said Jane McCarthy, senior director, nursing leadership at Vizient. “A key to achieving and keeping Magnet designation is comparative data to demonstrate performance related to a nationally recognized benchmark.”

Since 2009, Vizient has provided members transparent comparative reporting on their nurse-sensitive quality indicators, providing clear and relevant benchmarks to measure performance. In the last quarter of 2015, we rolled out a new version of our Nursing Quality Data Base™ (NQDB) that includes many new analytics features. The NQDB reporting and analytics assures leaders actionable data to assess nursing unit performance. 

Vizient is committed to supporting members in driving real clinical change. A key first step is understanding the realities of patient care in the facility. The Vizient NQDB captures “incidence” of the nursing quality metrics rather than just “point prevalence,” providing a clear picture of improvement opportunities. “Point prevalence is one way to measure but it really doesn’t capture what is going on all of the other days within a given period. Incidence is rate-based and gives a comprehensive picture of every patient and provides more actionable benchmarks. Vizient’s NQDB now offers the option to report prevalence or incidence indicators for select measures,” said McCarthy.

Other enhancements are the interactive dashboard and customizable reporting features in eight measure groups: falls, pressure ulcers, restraints, CAUTI, CLABSI, RN education, RN staffing and core measures. Users are able to build unique reports for timely and relevant analysis for both individual hospitals and the entire system, down to the unit level. Additionally, they can access monthly benchmarks and compare unblinded nursing quality indicator data with peers and top-performing hospitals and health systems.

“The level of transparency in the NQDB gives users more than just an ambiguous benchmark. They have the ability to create comparisons at the hospital and unit level beyond the measures typically being viewed. The beauty of that is they can then network with a top performer to help them improve.” said McCarthy. “It’s exciting to see CNOs and chief quality officers beginning to use the information we are giving them to become agents of change within their organization by identifying opportunities for improvement beyond the traditional nurse-sensitive measures.”

Any Vizient member can use the NQDB, which ANCC continues to recognize as an accepted source for national benchmarks and data reporting for Magnet application and redesignation. The NQDB is integrating data from the Vizient Core Measures Data Base and the Clinical Data Base to reduce the burden of direct data submission for hospitals utilizing those data bases. For those who aren’t in other Vizient data bases, they can submit the data directly into the NQDB. HCAHPS, safety and Operational Data Base measures are expected to be added to the NQDB in 2017.

To learn more about the NQDB and Vizient’s nurse leadership programs, click here.

Published: September 13, 2016