By Joline Goossens, Dries Myny, Fien De Smet and Lise Desplenter
The OLV van Lourdes Hospital in Waregem (Belgium) is a regional hospital with 264 recognized beds. The mission of our hospital is to deliver high-quality care with attention towards patient safety. The goal is to provide this care in a socially responsible manner that is also financially sustainable. On top, our hospital wants to be represented by a motivated group of employees as well as have a close collaboration with other healthcare providers in the region.
One of the strategic goals of our hospital is to be an attractive employer for current and future employees and physicians. The hospital wants to invest in keeping them satisfied as well as in encouraging enthusiastic entrepreneurs who want to take action. Furthermore, we believe in the importance to create a healthy atmosphere where all healthcare workers of the organization feel free to communicate and where every voice is heard. That’s how we ended up at the decision to participate in the Magnet4Europe Project, beginning 2020.
To improve the wellbeing of the healthcare workers in our hospital, a steering committee was set up, composed of 4 members: the CNO, Manager Quality and Innovation, Head of Human Resources and a Magnet project coordinator. In the fall of 2020, we performed the baseline measurement for the gap analysis for which we were happy to receive a Magnet4Europe Milestone Achievement Award. We are proud to be one of the top performers among the Belgian hospitals. Although there is not much room for improvement, we are determined to further invest in the well-being of our people.
To involve every healthcare worker in the mission of our hospital, we wanted to visualize what exactly we want to achieve and which items will play an important role in this realization. Therefore, we developed our Professional Practice Model, in accordance with the Magnet Application Manual.
The core of our figure consists of the 6 strategic goals of our hospital: (1) Deliver customized care, (2) Invest in leadership and well-being, (3) Being an innovative enterprise, (4) Collaborate with other healthcare actors, (5) Guarantee high-quality care and (6) Have a strong financial health.
The cogs at the bottom of the figure symbolize the various stakeholders. Not only the employees and physicians but also patients and their families, partners of the hospital network, actors of primary care and the society/government play a role in the realization of our strategic goals. By working together, we can put this machine into action and positively impact the quality of care, safety, satisfaction and well-being of both patients and employees. These outcomes are visualized by the cogs at the top of the figure. It is very important that all cogs run smoothly. Correct and timely communication, with attention to the core values of our hospital, is considered essential to everyday activities.
Thanks to this Magnet4Europe Project and our twinning partner NorthBay Healthcare (California), who was a huge source of inspiration, we are working on a model to involve all healthcare workers in decision-making at both departmental and hospital level. NorthBay Healthcare gave us the chance to participate online in their shared governance councils from which we were able to pick up many useful tips and tricks. With special thanks to them, we will be able to organize our first department based councils in 2022 in which common difficulties of different departments will be discussed. During these councils, we will allow people to think about small but significant improvements to their day-to-day work. In addition, we will organize councils where will be focused on a specific subject (for example research & innovation or Human Resources & well-being). In these latter councils, people will be able to develop suggestions for improvement within that topic with the help of an expert. Once a year, there will be a ‘M4E-day’ to inspire the healthcare workers and present an award for the best improvement concept. With these councils, we are making a bold effort to increase the involvement in the decision-making of nurses and other healthcare professionals. We strongly believe in this plan and hope that after evaluating and adjusting this plan, we can move one step closer to the mission of our hospital.