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Your comprehensive guide to the Press Ganey National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI)

Coauthored by Catima Potter, Product Manager. 

Nurses play a huge and significant role in ensuring a safe, reliable, and high-quality care environment for patients. How well your organization standardizes nursing best practices impacts both the patient experience and the employee experience. Initially launched by the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 1998 and now a Press Ganey solution, the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators® (NDNQI®) is the only—as well as the oldest and largest—comprehensive nurse-sensitive indicators platform that collects and analyzes nursing data, so nursing units can assess their impact on clinical quality and patient outcomes.

NDNQI is a proven nursing quality improvement tool used to monitor and benchmark nurse-sensitive patient outcomes and RN workforce engagement measures in acute and ambulatory care. Let’s dive into the basics and how you can get started.

What is the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI)?

NDNQI is the leading nursing-sensitive quality indicators database for both acute and ambulatory care settings. It contains unit-level information about 600+ measures relevant to nursing performance, patient and workforce experience, and health outcomes.

The data is derived from a combination of administrative documentation and medical records.

What is the purpose of NDNQI? 

All information reported to NDNQI is available for NDNQI users to review and benchmark performance against other participating NDNQI facilities. This enables nursing leaders to better understand how their nursing units stack up against competitors—providing valuable insights to provide better care, improve nursing quality, and achieve ANCC Magnet® recognition.

Can I use NDNQI to measure nursing quality in the ambulatory setting?

NDNQI is available for ambulatory care settings and currently features benchmarks on more than 16,000 participating ambulatory units and 20+ ANCC Magnet-approved measures. 

Tell me more about the Press Ganey and American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) partnership.

Press Ganey and the AAACN, an association for practicing nurses and nursing leaders specializing in community and hospital-based outpatient care settings, are partners to enhance the catalog of nursing-sensitive indicators (NSI) for quality ambulatory care nursing. The collaboration taps into the clinical expertise of AAACN members to expand Press Ganey’s NSI catalog, ensuring a comprehensive and specialized bespoke approach to ambulatory care quality.

Do all hospitals participate in NDNQI? What about ambulatory facilities?

Most Magnet-recognized facilities use NDNQI, and as care shifts to the ambulatory setting increasingly ambulatory care facilities participate as well. Participating in the NDNQI lets you benchmark your organization’s performance against more than 2,000 facilities, including 16,000 ambulatory care units. With 250+ nursing-sensitive quality indicators at your fingertips, you can also view how your units stack up across departments and demographics. Press Ganey’s NDNQI solution makes all of this data easily accessible through intuitive dashboards and navigation tools.

How does the NDNQI get its information?

NDNQI site coordinators at participating organizations oversee data collection and submission. In return, they’re given monthly and quarterly reports specific to their data with corresponding benchmarks.

Can I use NDNQI to see nursing quality performance across my system?

System reporting is available that provides a single source to evaluate and compare nursing quality performance across the entire system, including both inpatient and ambulatory settings. This comprehensive view is critical to achieving more consistent, higher quality and more coordinated care.

Reporting analytics give system nurse leaders a clear view not only of data aggregated to the system level, but also a view of each individual facility’s performance compared within their healthcare system and peers nationally. Data export capabilities let system users incorporate calculated NDNQI measures into system analytics tools and dashboards.

What are nursing-sensitive indicators (NSI)?

To comprehensively and accurately assess nursing performance at facilities in a standardized way, the NDNQI database categorizes information into three main indicator groups: structure, process, and outcome. This is a well-established approach to measuring healthcare quality.

Structure measures form the foundation, and evaluate the context in which care is delivered. Examples of NDNQI structure measures include RN education, workforce characteristics and staffing and skill mix.

The blocks of quality measurement, process measures describe how structure is put into practice. Examples of NDNQI process measures include care coordination, diabetes care, and patient falls.

Outcome measures evaluate the effect of care on the patient's health. In NDNQI, these measures include catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), Central line catheter-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), and multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO).

What information can healthcare facilities view as NDNQI users?

By using NDNQI, participating facilities can view more than 10 comparison groups, including teaching status, staffed bed size, Census division, state, metropolitan area, and ANCC Magnet status, among others. With Press Ganey’s National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators solution, you can better segment your healthcare data to dig deeper into the details—and pinpoint exactly where your systems can improve.

How does NDNQI support patient experience and safety?

Since several of NDNQI’s indicators involve patient experience data—like patient volume, care coordination, and patient harm/safety events—participating organizations get a better understanding on how to deliver safer, more effective care. And easy-to-use dashboards let facility and unit leaders assess exactly what needs improvement, breaking down data by demographic, facility, and more, so every patient gets the care they deserve, every time.

How does NDNQI support the nurse experience?

With up-to-date patient experience and safety metrics, nurses know they’re providing safe care and improving patient outcomes. NDNQI also contains information on employee experience indicators like job satisfaction, workforce characteristics, and nurse turnover rates. These insights can give facility leaders a front-row view of what it’s like to be a nurse at the facility they run—helping decision-makers stay ahead of potential nurse turnover and understand what needs to change to retain key nursing talent.

How can my organization get started with NDNQI?

If your facility’s leaders would like to use the Press Ganey NDNQI, connect with one of our experts. They can take you through the platform and set your facility up with the leading tools to measure quality, safety, experience, and more.
Press Ganey also offers continuous patient experience insights through flexible outreach options, industry-leading expertise, and compliance management to assist participating sites in adhering to data collection requirements.

The Press Ganey NDNQI is a valuable database for understanding how your nursing practices stack up to the competition—and how your RNs experience their work environment. To get the most out of this program and unlock new levels of data, it’s critical to understand the basics of the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators, how to get started, and why partnering with Press Ganey will accelerate improvement.

Reach out to our team to learn how your organization can harness the power of Press Ganey’s NDNQI.