What To Ask Before Using A Magnet Consultant

08/09/2016
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Starting The Process

Between the hundreds of organizations, Chief Nursing Officers, Magnet® Program Directors, Coordinators, Directors of Professional Practice, etc., that we speak to every year, we often get asked, “What do you do different than my current Magnet consultant, or your competitor?”

It’s really not a matter of what we do different, it is how much MORE we do to ensure a successful designation, every time. For starters, the first question I would ask myself is, “Can I risk failing?”

So much time, effort, and financial resources are pulled together for any organization embarking on the Magnet® or Pathway to Excellence® Journey. Before getting started, you need to consider several critical items around your process and who you will be working with.

Here’s a list of questions to ask before using a consultant:

  1. In what stage will your consultant start working with you? Only after you are couple of years into the journey and now need an assessment, or will they start with  you at infancy and help to educate your MPD and staff, create the culture, help to implement a strong professional practice model and Shared Governance?
  2. Does your consultant do this work everyday, all day, and is this their only job?
  3. Does your consultant have a clinical background with experience as a Magnet® Program Director with a successful designation or re-designation in their credentials?
  4. What is your consultants success/failure rate?
    • What percentage of their clients have successfully designated or re-designated?
    • How many of their clients did not successfully designate?
  5. Does your consultant offer a complimentary Planning Summit, to do just THAT PLAN? Do they pay to come to have a very high-level overview of the services they are going to provide and make sure all timeframes and milestones are met, according to your goals? Do they give a demonstration on PFI to your senior Executive Leadership team to ensure you have the support needed internally?
  6. Does your consultant provide a clear, concise, honest report of findings with a deep dive into each unit, with recommended actions for threats or high-risk areas that need to be addressed to be successful?
  7. Does your consultant work with each writer to ensure understanding of how and what is to be written, and that it meets the expectations of the Magnet document?
  8. Do you feel confident in your consultants ability to expertly and detailed, content and copy edit your writing of the document?
  9. Does your consultant provide Electronic Document Submission support in the latest format?
  10. Can your consultant answer for you, on average, how many supplemental document requests their clients receive after document submission?
  11. How many of your consultants clients who received supplemental document requests were not offered a site visit?
  12. Does your consultant offer a mock site visit or site visit prep?
  13. Do they have a service to offer support between designations?
  14. And finally, do they provide a guarantee to their work?

Are you 100% confident that you will be successful, for your First, Second, Third, or Fourth Journey? If you cannot answer 100%, then take a step back and rethink your current situation based on the items listed above.

If you are interested in learning more about HealthLinx Magnet services and how we may answer these questions for you, please visit our Magnet page for details.