Adirondack Health nurses earn elite Pathway to Excellence designation

April 20, 2018

The Pathway to Excellence program recognizes a healthcare organization’s commitment to creating a positive work environment that empowers and engages nursing staff. With the designation, Adirondack Health became one of 159 Pathway organizations throughout the United States, and only the second in New York state. ANCC requires Pathway organizations to demonstrate that they effectively meet 64 elements of performance within six specific standards, seeking nurses' input on issues related to safety, quality of care, well-being, professional development, leadership and shared decision making.

“We are exceptionally proud of our nurses and the hard work they’ve completed over several years to achieve this designation,” said Sylvia Getman, Adirondack Health’s president and chief executive officer. “Great nurses provide great patient care, so it is our job – as the only full-service health system in the Adirondacks – to ensure that our nursing professionals feel engaged, supported and ultimately satisfied to work here.”

The final step in the Pathway application process asked Adirondack Health’s frontline nursing staff, via anonymous survey, if they felt the organization meets Pathway standards. While a simple majority is required to finalize Pathway designation, Adirondack Health nurses recorded a 92 percent positive response rate, emphatically sealing the deal.

Examples of Adirondack Health's initiatives include:

  • On-site farmers market, walking/running clinics and a healthy meals vending machine for the night shift.
  • Mentor program following completion of a three-month training for all new nursing graduates.
  • Implementation of a HIPAA-compliant secure texting platform to enhance communication between nurses, doctors and other care providers.
  • New, peer-driven nursing staff recognition.
  • Structured professional growth program with tuition reimbursement.
  • Flexible self-scheduling.

Research shows that a positive work environment, such as the one advanced by Pathway designation, improves patient care and outcomes. Notably, Adirondack Medical Center is currently rated a 4-star hospital on the federal government’s CMS Hospital Compare website, performing at or above the national average in every metric.

Still, Adirondack Health’s nurses aren’t resting on their laurels.

"The Pathway to Excellence journey does not end with designation,” said Linda McClarigan, Adirondack Health’s chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services. “It truly is a new way of seeing and doing things that aligns nursing and our organization with initiatives that create the very best environments for our patients to heal and for our nurses and staff to thrive."

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