Magnet hospitals are a magnet for higher survival rates at adult trauma centers

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Little is known about nursing care’s impact on trauma outcomes. The Magnet Recognition Program recognizes hospitals for quality patient care and nursing excellence based on objective standards. We hypothesized that Magnet-designated trauma centers would have improved survival over their non-Magnet counterparts.


All 2009 to 2011 admissions to Pennsylvania’s Level I and II trauma centers with more than 500 admissions during the study period (10 Magnet and 17 non-Magnet hospitals) were extracted from the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation State Registry. A logistic regression model with mortality as the dependent variable included the following variables: Magnet status, age, sex, admitting temperature, logit transformation of mortality probability predicted by the Trauma Mortality Prediction Model (TMPM-ais), systolic blood pressure, mechanism of injury, paralytic drug use, and Glasgow Coma Scale motor (GCSm) score.


A total of 73,830 patients from the Pennsylvania Trauma Outcome Study database met inclusion criteria for this study. The Magnet and non-Magnet hospital groups were statistically indistinguishable with respect to level of designation, medical school association, surgical residency programs, in-house surgeons, and urban locations. Patients admitted to a Magnet hospital had a significantly decreased odds of mortality when compared with their non-Magnet counterparts (odds ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.70–0.99; p = 0.033), when controlling for numerous factors. Overall, the model has outstanding discrimination with a receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.93.


Admission to a Magnet-designated hospital is associated with a 20% reduction in mortality. We believe that the Magnet program’s attention to nursing competence has important consequences for trauma patients, as reflected in the improved survival rates in trauma patients admitted to Magnet-designated hospitals.


Epidemiologic/prognostic study, level III. Care management study, level IV.

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