Most Nurses Spend Quarter of Shift on Indirect Patient Care

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ATLANTA―The majority of nurses are spending one quarter of their twelve-hour shift on indirect patient care, time that supports care delivery but does not require direct interaction with the patient. This information is according to a recent study by Atlanta-based staffing and technology company Jackson Healthcare. The study also found the number of nurses spending at least two hours per shift on indirect patient care increased slightly from 73 percent in 2009 to 78 percent.

Nurses indicated that, despite the implementation of electronic medical records, much of their time away from the bedside is spent documenting orders in multiple places and for regulatory purposes, and completing checklists and paperwork. Less time consuming non-patient care activities include coordinating care between hospital departments and with other caregivers, restocking supplies and preparing medication.

“Our nurses are telling us that while they are now entering orders electronically, they still have to manage many of their activities and records on paper," said president of Jackson Nurse Professionals, Scott L’Heureux.

His company, along with Care Logistics, partnered with Jackson Healthcare to complete the second biennial study of more than 400 nursing professionals across the country.

In the study, the nurses were asked for recommendations on how to reduce the amount of time spent on indirect patient care. Solutions frequently offered by study participants include increased staffing resources and more efficient, simplified charting.

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