Magnet4Europe – The largest international project to improve health professionals wellbeing

3 August 2022

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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