Web site spotlight: Survey: Nurses spending up to one quarter of time on indirect patient care

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 30, 2010

Next time your nursing staff members complain about having too much paperwork and not enough time at the patient's bedside, you can tell them their feelings are echoed by nurses nationwide, as shown by a recent survey.

The survey, conducted by Jackson Healthcare, an Alpharetta, GA-based healthcare staffing and management company, found that between 73% and 75% of nurses spend one-quarter of a 12-hour shift on indirect patient care services. The top reasons for being pulled away from patient care include:

  • Documenting information in multiple locations
  • Completing logs, checklists, and other unnecessary paperwork/data collection
  • Filling out regulatory documentation
  • Entering/reviewing orders
  • Walking to equipment/supply areas, utility rooms, etc.

"Nurses are being taken away from the patient's bedside by non-patient activities," Bob Schlotman, chief marketing officer at Jackson Healthcare, said in a press release. "Unfortunately, due to the regulatory nature of healthcare, we know that some of these redundancies won't go away. However, the good news is methodology, in the form of process improvements, and adaptive technology now exists to help minimize and manage these frustrations for our nurses."

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