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Sarasota Memorial Again Named Among Nation's "Magnet" Hospitals

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The nurses at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System have done it again. The region's only public not-for-profit hospital was re-designated a "Magnet" hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Widely accepted as the gold standard of patient care, Magnet is a 4-year designation awarded sparingly to hospitals that demonstrate excellence and professionalism in nursing. Just 5 percent of U.S. hospitals have earned Magnet designation – and only about 300 worldwide.

"In earning this award, it means that we've met the toughest possible standards of care and that the quality and commitment demonstrated by our employees is second to none," said Sarasota Memorial CEO Gwen MacKenzie. "More than a nursing award, it is a testament to the incredible teamwork and dedication of our entire staff to our patients' safety and well-being."

Magnet hospitals are more effective at attracting and retaining "the best and brightest" nurses, which results in better outcomes for patients, according to the ANCC. Independent studies show Magnet hospitals have shorter lengths of stay, higher patient satisfaction, better nurse-to-patient ratios and lower mortality rates.

Hospitals must undergo extensive evaluation, including on-site review of policies and clinical practice, every four years to maintain their Magnet designation. The ANCC continually raises the bar to reflect the highest standards of practice, and hospitals must meet those higher standards to be re-designated, Magnet Commission Chairwoman Gail Wolf told Sarasota Memorial leaders while sharing the good news during a conference call on Monday. "Unless you're really on top of all (the advances), it's easy to have your designation slip," she said. "But you've got it exactly where it needs to be. The entire commission applauds you ... it was a unanimous decision!"

Magnet designation also contributes to an organization's standing in U.S. News & World Report's annual "America's Best Hospitals" lists. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in the region that has earned Magnet status, as well as the only one ranked among U.S.News' top hospitals.

“We’re a better institution today because of our Magnet designation,” said Jan Mauck, RN, Sarasota Memorial's chief nursing officer. “By focusing on advances in patient care, it inspires all of us – nurses, physicians, professional and support staff – to continually strive to be even better."

About Sarasota Memorial
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of inpatient, outpatient and extended care services. Its 806-bed hospital is Florida’s second largest acute care public hospital. It is the only hospital in the region ranked among U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals,” recognized among “America’s Safest Hospitals” by and awarded Magnet designation – the nation’s highest honor for excellence in nursing. ###

Date Published: December 17, 2008

Media Contact: Kim Savage
Phone: (941) 917-6271

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