As the Chief Operating and Nursing Officer at Broward Health Imperial Point (BHIP), Sandra Todd-Atkinson handles a multitude of roles and responsibilities with the utmost professionalism and positivity. Under Todd-Atkinson’s leadership and support, the 204-bed hospital in Fort Lauderdale has achieved a number of prestigious patient-care milestones over the past year, including the American Nursing Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence designation, the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) ‘Exemplar’ status and Keiser University’s 2015 Employer of Choice recognition for the hospital’s community contributions throughout South Florida. These achievements, according to Todd-Atkinson, would not have been possible without the enthusiasm and buy-in from all of her nursing staff.
“No leader can work in a vacuum; the leader is dependent on a team and the team is the one that can make the difference,” Todd-Atkinson said. “What makes a good nurse leader, or any leader, is allowing your staff to participate in the decision-making for the hospital. By empowering the staff, they are able to come up with process improvements that make quality of care better. The leader can have the vision, but it is the team that makes it happen.”
Todd-Atkinson’s style of leadership has been effective because of its inclusiveness. She focuses on encouraging her staff to truly be involved in the processes and everyday workings of the hospital. One example of this is BHIP’s Pathway to Excellence designation. After a two-year journey, marked by commitment from not only the nurses, but the entire employee staff, Broward Health Imperial Point became the second hospital in Broward County – and one of only 132 organizations around the world – to receive the prestigious nursing designation.
“Pathway is truly about nurses making care exemplary for our patients,” Todd-Atkinson said. “If you have excellent nurses, then the care is going to reflect that. Without one or the other, you will not achieve the goals you want to achieve. The Pathway designation gave us the roadmap to help the nursing department perform at its highest ability.”
BHIP was also recognized in April 2015 with ‘Exemplar’ status, the highest of four categories awarded by NICHE, making the hospital the first in Broward County to earn this distinction. This achievement, according to Todd-Atkinson, was about paving the way for other hospitals to provide world-class geriatric care to our aging population.
“The Exemplar status goes beyond the walls of this organization,” said Todd Atkinson. “You really have to serve as a role model for other hospitals and other nurses in the area.”
Todd-Atkinson hopes to not only maintain this current standard of excellence, but work to push beyond the standard and continuously improve patient care.