Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi First Hospital in UAE to Achieve Magnet® Designation

Creating a roadmap to get everyone on board

In October, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD) became the first hospital in the United Arab Emirates to receive the prestigious Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, as well as the youngest hospital ever to earn this recognition. The 364-bed hospital opened in 2015.

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“This designation is an important reflection of our commitment to the people of Abu Dhabi, to whom we promised we would deliver world-class healthcare,” says Rakesh Suri, MD, DPhil, CEO of CCAD. “Magnet accreditation is the gold standard for nursing everywhere in the world, achieved by only the top-level hospitals.”

An eye on designation from day one

The journey to Magnet status is long and arduous, including submission of documentation that includes dozens of exemplary stories showing evidence of excellent care and patient outcomes with data, graphs and reports to support each story. CCAD submitted its documentation in early 2019 and hosted on-site surveyors for three days in August to verify, amplify and clarify the contents of the documentation. But the road to Magnet designation really began from day one at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

“Our nurses’ dedication, innovation, autonomy and drive for world-class care enabled the journey from the beginning,” says Sue A. Behrens, DNP, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer of CCAD. “As a young organization, we were conscious of the documentation and data collection that was important for the rigorous standards that go with the Magnet requirements for recognition. Looking back now, I am grateful as it made us more aware of the importance of capturing the positive outcomes and excellence in care our nurses were providing from the time we opened our doors to our first patients.”

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Educating caregivers about Magnet with support from leaders

Even with the right systems in place, the path to Magnet designation required educating CCAD’s diverse nursing staff and the support of Cleveland Clinic leaders worldwide.

CCAD nurses represent more than 70 nationalities, most from Europe and Asia. “Magnet was a new concept to a majority of the caregivers,” says Cipriano Mayor, BSN, PGCE, MclinED, FHEA, Nurse Manager of Accreditation and Professional Excellence and Magnet Program Director at CCAD. “This posed a challenge.”

Mayor created a roadmap that outlined the process to educate and align nurses to the standards of recognition. “Our nurses were providing Magnet status care, but didn’t realize it,” says Behrens. “It was the connection of the dots that gave our journey traction.”

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To help connect those dots, the hospital developed a multifaceted approach to educating caregivers, utilizing Magnet boards, Magnet audits, bedside interactive events and a Magnet Week. “Within months we reached every single caregiver in CCAD with the help of our Magnet Champions, who were truly instrumental during Magnet enculturation,” says Mayor.

CCAD also benefitted from the support of leaders across the Cleveland Clinic healthcare system, which includes five other Magnet hospitals: main campus, Akron General, Fairview Hospital, Hillcrest Hospital and South Pointe Hospital. “We were able to collaborate with nurse leaders in the healthcare system to understand the requirements for Magnet and the application process, as well as learn from their Magnet journey,” says Behrens. In addition, key individuals from Cleveland Clinic participated in CCAD’s mock site survey.

Impact on the broader nursing profession

Earning Magnet designation is a confirmation of CCAD’s commitment to quality patient care. In her announcement to caregivers at CCAD, Behrens wrote, “The culture of excellence is in our DNA.” And, she notes, the designation extends beyond the walls of CCAD, elevating nursing throughout the country. “Achieving Magnet recognition is changing the footprint of nursing in the United Arab Emirates.”