Between July and November 2011, Jackson Healthcare, in partnership with Care Logistics and Jackson Nurse Professionals, conducted its second online nurse study to assess changes in the amount of time spent on indirect patient care since 2009.

The study found more nurses are spending one quarter of their working day on non-patient care activities, which support care delivery but do not require direct patient interaction.  Nurses cited documenting-related activities as the most time consuming.

Key Findings:

  • The majority of nurses surveyed spend one quarter of their 12-hour shift on indirect patient care
  • The number of nurses reporting to spend at least two hours per shift on indirect patient care increased slightly from 73% in 2009 to 78%
  • The five indirect patient care activities most cited by survey participants for being time consuming were:
    • Documenting information in multiple locations (ranked 1st in 2009)
    • Completing logs, checklists and collecting data (ranked 2nd in 2009)
    • Documenting for regulatory purposes (ranked 3rd in 2009)
    • Traveling to equipment, supply and dirty utility rooms (ranked 5th in 2009)
    • Entering and reviewing orders (ranked 4th in 2009)
  • Solutions to reduce indirect care time offered by survey participants include:
    • More efficient, simplified charting
    • Increased ancillary support
    • Reduced nurse to patient ratios
  • Fewer than half of nurses surveyed are satisfied with the scheduling of staff at their facility
  • 80% of nurses surveyed work in facilities that have implemented or are in the process of implementing electronic medical records or computerized physician order entry systems


Findings from this survey are based on data collected from 418 nursing professionals from July to November 2011.  The survey has an error range of +/- 4.8% at the 95% confidence level.

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