Resources to benchmark nursing-sensitive quality indicators

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, August 23, 2005

One of the most frequently-asked questions from organizations pursuing ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® status is where to find appropriate nurse-sensitive quality indicators. There is not a single "right" answer that fits all organizations or all nursing units within an organization, according to Katherine Riley, MSN, RN, CNA,BC, assistant vice president, operations, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington. The National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) is one of the more widely-known databases for benchmarking these quality indicators. The NDNQI allows a facility to benchmark specific indicators at the unit level with organizations of similar bed-size. Other sources for benchmarking nurse-sensitive quality indicators are the Association of Healthcare Research and Quality, which publishes a comprehensive list of patient safety indicators on its Web site; the National Voluntary Consensus Standards for Nursing-Sensitive Care, a set of 15 nationally standardized performance measures endorsed by the National Quality Forum; and national nursing association benchmarks for specialty-specific nursing care, to name a few.

Riley also says that whatever indicators an organization selects, they must reflect nurse staffing in that organization, must be collected at the unit level, and benchmarked at the highest level possible. This benchmarking might be at the national, state, regional, or organizational levels, depending on the indicator selected.

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