The Baylor Medical Center – Dallas Foundation’s quarterly meeting Tuesday, December 8, was a major catch-up for members in virtual attendance. They not only were updated about Ben Renberg‘s being named president of the Foundation and Baylor Scott and White Health‘s new affiliation with Texas A&M Health and Baylor College of Medicine in Temple, but as a result of the Celebrating Women’s month-long effort, there had been a 23% increase in mammograms and nearly $1.3M had been provided for continuing research and treatments in battling breast cancer. They’ve already set the date for the 2021 Celebrating Women for Wednesday, October 27.
Board Chair Norm Bagwell then introduced Baylor Scott and White Health Chief Nursing Officer/Executive VP Janice Walker, who in addition to being nationally published on “driving zero patient harm, interdisciplinary team dialogue, driving service scores through such programs as open visitation, hard-wiring service and patient advocacy service councils,” is a “national speaker on various topics such as transformational nursing leadership traits.”
Norm also pointed out that 2020 had been the International Year of the Nurse.
Janice started off her talk by pointing out that in addition to providing incredible challenges for the nursing profession due to the pandemic, 2020 was also the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
She gave a brief history of how “nursing birthed out of the Crimean War (with) sanitation and cleanliness and infection control… That’s where nursing came from in terms of the battlefield and fighting for life over death.” As Janice put it, there were great similarities between the Crimean War and today’s pandemic facing the nursing profession.
It was pointed out that “nurses ranked as the most honest profession 17 years in a row.”
Janice thanked the Foundation for its support of the BSWH nursing program through the years and shared the results of its support.
As an example of the success of the program, Janice told how American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program’s designation is “just one of those major cornerstones that must be in place inside BSWH facilities in order to continue to push excellence forward.”
Why is a Magnet designation so important? Janice explained that “in a Magnet organization, retention of nurses is higher.” At BSWH, “you literally can start your career here and finish your career here and pivot from multiple different functions of nursing as well as geographical locations across this state. So, we know that Magnet has a drawing effect… that’s where it got its name… by magnetizing and retaining staff in a magnet environment.”
The basic principles of Magnet “propel the profession of nursing.”
Another important point of the Magnet designation is that Magnet hospitals have lower mortality due to “the leaning in and the voice of the clinician to drive their practice in preventing harm, preventing ‘never events,’ excelling in patient satisfaction and excelling in staff satisfaction.”
Janice pointed out that the Baylor Scott and White-Temple Region, including the hospital, the long-term care hospital, McLane Children’s Medical Center and all the clinics, were entertaining the Magnet surveyors for “the first time of their initial accreditation, which they have been working on for five years.”
The result is that, by the end of 2021, “We will have many of our hospitals Magnet, at the same time being re-accredited for Magnet because you have to go for Magnet every three years. And we will have achieved 92% of our hospitals being Magnet.”
This achievement means “BSWH will have the largest healthcare system in Texas that has the most hospitals Magnet.”
The facilities not presently holding a Magnet designation are those that are newly acquired or have not had three years of data to qualify under the BSWH umbrella.
Another program that sometimes functions as a precursor to the Magnet Recognition Program is ANCC’s The Pathway to Excellence Program, which has all the elements of the Magnet program except for the research element. It is more fitting for some of the smaller facilities to be Pathways.
The final program that Janice wanted to highlight was ANCC’s Practice Transition Accreditation Program, which BSWH put into action in 2019. In many states, the law prevents a person from practicing independent nursing after graduation until they have gone through a residency program. Said Janice, “BSWH has become the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas with the most hospitals accredited, and is absolutely committed that all new graduate nurses go through an accredited residency program before we let them practice independent nursing. The reason for this is that it helps retain staff. It helps new graduates not leave the practice of nursing the first five years of independent practice. It’s really an investment in our new workforce, and the Foundation helped fund this program for a collection of data-base points that we must have to be accredited.”
Janice told of the following ways in which BSWH differs from others in its support of its nursing staff with the following assistance:
- Transition to practice accreditation
- RN compensation program
- Academic affiliations throughout Texas
- SMU executive fellowship
- Tuition reimbursement
- Shared governance
- Nursing research
- Electronic Health Record-Standardization Across the System
- Multiple career opportunities in various markets
She closed with a video about Hailey Wheeler, a nurse at BSWH-Temple who had just started her job when the pandemic began. Her first COVID-19 patient was an elderly woman who had been sheltering-in-place but losing oxygen. Due to the seriousness of her condition, she was transported to the hospital. Since it was doubtful that she would recover, she was made as comfortable as possible. The patient’s family contacted Hailey and asked what they could do to help. It was decided that her extended family from around Texas would gather outside the hospital to wish her a Happy Easter, complete with signs and balloons with Hailey’s help. When the moment came, Hailey pushed the woman’s bed over to the window to see the gathering. In the following days, “she came back a little more… After two weeks, she beat it…. The next day she was discharged, not expired, discharged.”
Hailey closed with, “We may not always have the best days, but it is in small moments like this, that the light shines through and shows us that faith is so much stronger than fear…. How lucky we are to be in a profession in a time when the world needs us most.”
Janice then finished by thanking the Foundation members for their support of the following BSWH nursing programs:
- Transition to Practice Accreditation Nurse Residency Program
- Nurse Leadership Development through the SMU Executive Fellowship and Foundation of Nursing Leadership for Nursing Managers and Supervisors
- Statistical analysis for nursing research
- Nursing scholarships to advance nursing degrees
- Funding for nursing education
- Nursing excellence program to support Zero Harm initiatives and magnet designation
To close the day’s meeting, BSWH CEO Jim Hinton thanked Baylor Scott and White Dallas Foundation Interim President/Baylor Scott and White Health Chief Policy and Community Affair Officer Kristi Sherrill Hoyl for heading up the search for Ben, and recognized Norm for his tireless leadership during the search and the past year of the pandemic. He also stressed that despite the challenging times, BSWH has continued to deliver babies, perform transplants, handle trauma and provide healthcare needs in addition to dealing with the pandemic.
Jim also explained that his support of the nursing profession was both personal and professional. “We cannot do what we do without nurses.” As for 2020 being the Year of the Nurse, Jim said that for him the Year of the Nurse was actually 1987, when his daughter Rebecca was born. Today she is a labor delivery nurse.
* Photo courtesy of Baylor Medical Center - Dallas Foundation