Poll: Nurses Spend a Quarter of Shift on Non-patient Care

ATLANTA, GA (March 1, 2010) – A new Jackson Healthcare survey of hospital nurses found that nurses estimate spending one quarter of their twelve-hour shift on indirect patient care.  Respondents cited regulatory requirements, redundant paperwork and logistical challenges as the primary contributors of time spent away from the patient’s bedside.

The study, which targeted nurses, nursing managers and chief nursing officers (CNO) across the U.S., was conducted in partnership with StatCom and Travel Nurse Solutions.  It was based upon an online survey of 2,439 nurses, and focuses on the 1,663 who work in hospital settings.

Nurses reported having to document patient care information in multiple locations, in addition to having to complete logs, checklists and other redundant paperwork that prevented them from having more time with their patients.  Beyond these paperwork redundancies, nurses reported significant time being wasted trying to secure needed equipment and supplies.

When asked for solutions to these challenges, nurses recommended a combination of ancillary staff support, hospital-wide communications technology and reductions in redundant regulatory requirements.

According to Jackson Healthcare Chief Marketing Officer, Bob Schlotman, the results reveal a concerning trend.  “Nurses are being taken away from the patient’s bedside by non-patient activities.  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.”

The survey found several significant differences between front line nurses and CNOs.  CNOs were more concerned with the coordination of patient care, whereas nurses felt overworked and in need of additional staff support.

The survey summary data is available at Jackson Healthcare.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY-Between October 22 and November 30, 2009, Jackson Healthcare conducted a web-based survey of 2,439 nurses.  Results reported in this press release focused on the 1,663 of those nurse respondents who work in hospital settings.  Jackson had a response rate of 4.45 percent from the 54,764 invitations distributed.  The survey has an error range of +/- 1.29 percent, at the 95 percent confidence level.

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