Magnet4Europe – Improving health professionals wellbeing
3 August 2022
Magnet4Europe is the largest international implementation science project ever attempted to improve clinicians’ and patients’ wellbeing through a fundamental change of hospital work environments. The project is coordinated by our member, KU Leuven, with Prof Dr Walter Sermeus being the Director of the study. As a key actor in the European healthcare ecosystem in representation of health managers, we are involved in the Magnet4Europe’s international stakeholder committee and are proud to announce that the BMJ Open journal published the Magnet4Europe protocol, establishing its scientific and clinical significance.
Magnet4Europe is a 4-million Euro project funded by the European Commission supporting an international partnership among some of the world’s leading universities, coordinated by our organisational member, KU Leuven and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. It is the largest international implementation science project ever attempted to improve clinicians’ and patients’ wellbeing through a fundamental change of hospital work environments.
The project involves a randomised trial in 130 hospitals in 7 countries. COVID-19 exacerbated the dangerously high levels of physician and nurse burnout that predated and worsened during the pandemic and led to international alarm about an impending shortage of health professionals.
“Burnout, depression, and fatigue are far too common among nurses and physicians in fast paced hospital settings, and suicide rates are alarming. Patient safety depends upon vigilance, quick thinking, and intense attention to detail by health professionals which is made more difficult by stressful work settings,” said Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, Magnet4Europe co-director and professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
Burnout is an individual manifestation of organisational flaws rooted in systems. Thus, Magnet4Europe seeks to transform organisations to create work environments that fully engage health professionals in implementing care that works for patients and providers by implementing an evidence-based intervention based on the successful Magnet Recognition Program®, a voluntary hospital designation for nursing care excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Research has shown that Magnet-recognised hospitals have lower health professional burnout and safer patient care. 65 hospitals in six European countries (Belgium, England, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, and Norway) will receive a full-blown redesign of their workplaces – supported by one-to-one twinning with an experienced U.S. Magnet-recognised hospital and monthly international learning collaboratives to share best practices in workplace reform. The research protocol published reveals a rigorous research evaluation that will determine the success of the initiative.
“Our research points to specific features of complex organisations,” adds Dr. Walter Sermeus, European coordinator of the initiative at KU Leuven, “that if modified can significantly improve the wellbeing of health professionals and patients alike. Magnet4Europe will translate these research findings into practice to expedite much needed workplace redesign in hospitals and other healthcare settings.”
There are currently 591 Magnet-recognised hospitals, but only two hospitals in Europe have achieved the Magnet recognition. This initiative will test the feasibility and sustainability of the Magnet Model® for organisational redesign in the context of healthcare in Europe.DOWNLOAD THE Magnet4Europe SCIENTIFIC PROTOCOL
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What our Members say
I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.
Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy
Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.
Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria
I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.
Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta
EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.
Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK
Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.
Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary
As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.
Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal
Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.
Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK
Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.
Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain