Inova Health System

The Client

Inova Health System is Northern Virginia’s leading not-for-profit healthcare provider, serving over a million people each year. One hospital within the system, Inova Fair Oaks, has been nationally recognized as a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and was awarded Virginia’s Senate Productivity and Quality Award. The commitment to excellent care and service is apparent at Inova Fair Oaks.


Inova Fair Oaks and Inova Loudoun Hospital are Magnet designated hospitals with the same basic goal: to achieve outstanding patient care and nursing excellence.

Caliper collaborated with both organizations to help them achieve and maintain Magnet designation.

Magnet designation is a recognition given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), an affiliate of the American Nurses Association, to hospitals that successfully demonstrate achievement based on stringent requirements designed to measure the strength and quality of their organization’s nursing service. One of the Magnet requirements is for peer reviews to be conducted in order to provide information about nurses at all levels of the hospital.

The Business Challenge

Inova already conducts annual evaluations for Direct Care Nurses, utilizing a peer-review process. For Patient Care Directors, they were using an online tool, the Leadership Evaluation Module (LEM). However, they found that this process lacked the qualitative aspects they were looking for regarding the nursing leadership group.

Inova Fair Oaks had previously implemented a robust peer evaluation for their Direct Care Nurses that included a performance-appraisal process.

For their nursing leadership team, they needed a process that combined the quantitative aspects of the Leadership Evaluation Module with the added value of the qualitative qualities of performance management found in Caliper’s Three Sixty approach.

The Strategic Solution

Caliper conducted Three Sixty evaluations for 12 nurse leaders. The goal of these evaluations was to gather feedback from the individuals as well as their peers, leaders, and direct reports in order to analyze their perceptions.

Then, the insights of Caliper’s in-depth personality assessment – the Caliper Profile – were added to outline the individual’s strengths and areas of developmental opportunity. The data from the Profile and the data collected from the individuals were then reviewed and looked at collectively in order to identify gaps and alignments, so that a quantitative, effective action plan could be developed and implemented.

Each leader received his or her individual feedback and underwent reviews to determine how to best capitalize on the opportunities.

Caliper’s Organizational Development team discussed the similarities and differences among group members and compiled an aggregate report of the data. This report assessed the information from the 12 participants, outlining the overall strengths of the group as well as areas for development.

And after receiving feedback from the group’s assessment, Caliper helped Inova Fair Oaks identify actions and next steps for sharing the information and implementing improvements. Caliper’s Organizational Development team then met with the entire group and presented the findings of the collective analysis.

The Results

Inova Fair Oaks was designated as a Magnet organization. Other hospitals, like Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, Virginia, are looking to maintain their Magnet status and continually improve.

Inova Loudoun Hospital attained Magnet designation and will continue the process for redesignation. They, too, were looking to complete Three Sixty evaluations on their leadership team. A total of 17 participants were reviewed, including Senior Directors and Nursing Directors.

For an organization that has already achieved Magnet status, the expectations are even greater. The redesignation team must scrutinize progress and ask questions such as: How has your hospital progressed? How are you raising the bar? What achievements have you made?

The 17 Senior and Nursing Directors completed the process, exploring their individual strengths and areas for development as well as how the team looked as a whole. The goal was to create individual plans and goals that would lead the team to the next level of success. Currently, Caliper is successfully assisting both organizations in meeting the high Magnet expectations and transforming nursing leaders to excel and truly maximize their potential.