By Julia Köppen BScN, MScPH, Technische Universität Berlin & Dorothea Kohnen, M.Sc. KU Leuven
In the first year and a half, the research teams and participating hospitals have successfully mastered many of the challenges, achieved their first milestones, and continue to work on improving the work environment for their clinical staff. We applaud all our hospitals in Europe and the U.S. for their ongoing efforts and unwavering commitment to this project.
The project Magnet4Europe officially began in January 2020, at a time when no one could have imagined what the following 1,5 years would bring – a worldwide pandemic with unprecedented challenges for hospitals, nurses, physicians, citizens, parents, children, and for researchers. Despite the challenges, there has been a lot of progress and achievements to report. After the official start of Magnet4Europe, a two-day kick-off meeting with all consortium members was held in Leuven, Belgium. As the Magnet4Europe consortium builds on the RN4CAST team, most of the researchers have collaborated with each other for over a decade, providing a good basis for this four-year, complex project. The kick-off meeting has remained the only face-to-face meeting to date; however, the consortium now meets more frequently virtually.
While over 60 hospitals in Belgium, England, Germany, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden formally signed their participation agreements, the research teams worked on developing the questionnaires, the applications for ethics committees, as well as intervention-related content and materials. Following the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ethics committees prioritized COVID-19 related research, thus substantially delaying the potential approvals for Magnet4Europe. In addition, COVID-19 severely impacted acute care hospitals worldwide, limiting the capacity also of our participating hospitals to focus and engage in Magnet4Europe.
In the second half of 2020, the focus shifted primarily towards the start of the baseline measurement and the intervention. Countries that successfully obtained ethics approval started the baseline measurement in their hospitals. One important component of the intervention is the one-to-one twinning. All European hospitals are twinned with Magnet® recognized hospitals in the U.S. who support them to implement the Magnet model. The immediate intervention group - Group 1 hospitals - were successfully twinned with U.S. Magnet hospitals. In addition, they received intervention related materials such as the official ANCC Magnet Application Manual and the Magnet4Europe Gap Analysis Tool. This enabled hospitals from both sides to start the twinning and intervention process.
The international Magnet4Europe virtual launch event took place on October 2nd, 2020, with 393 attendees from European and U.S. Magnet hospitals, project leaders and country leads. Since December 2020 the intervention and twinning are supported by monthly virtual international Learning Collaboratives that are attended by 200 to 300 participants per session. The events are highly effective in transferring knowledge and building relationships as they are attended by clinicians in European and U.S. Magnet hospitals, academics, researchers, and relevant stakeholders. European and U.S. Magnet hospitals present their best practices and lessons learned regarding the twinning journey, GAP Analysis, the baseline measurement, etc. In addition, national network meetings are organized by the different country leads giving hospitals the opportunity to discuss operational issues related to Magnet4Europe.
The first milestone achievement for Group 1 hospitals was the completion of the Gap Analysis, a list of 77 items providing insight on the as-is situation compared with the aspirational organizational features as delineated in the Magnet blueprint. In May 2021 all Group 1 hospitals reached this milestone and received their personal Magnet4Europe Milestone Achievement Award!
Recently, Group 2 – who showed a lot of patience in the last eight months – have successfully started the intervention together with their U.S. Magnet twins. Their first official Learning Collaborative took place on May 21st, 2021. Currently, the hospitals are in the process of finalizing their GAP Analysis together with their U.S. Magnet twin which they will have to submit in autumn.
A second milestone achievement was the completion of the baseline survey in which all European hospitals in Group 1 and 2 participated (November 2020 to June 2021) and that aimed to evaluate the working conditions and well-being among nurses and physicians. Overall, more than 10.200 nurses and physicians completed the survey. The results of this baseline survey are presented in a standardized feedback report which has been provided to the hospitals, allowing a national and international comparison.
We are looking forward to the next months and the journey ahead together with our hospitals towards a better clinical work environment in Europe!
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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 848031.
Intervention Hospital Magnet® is a trademark of ANCC registered in the United States of America and other jurisdictions, and is being used under license from ANCC. All rights are reserved by ANCC. ANCC’s consent to the use of the Intervention Hospital Magnet® mark shall not be construed as ANCC sponsoring, participating, or endorsing the Magnet4Europe intervention.