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Hospital Nurses' Work Activity in a Technology-Rich Environment: A Triangulated Quality Improvement Assessment

Higgins, Linda W. PhD, RN; Shovel, Judith A. BSN, RN; Bilderback, Andrew L. MS; Lorenz, Holly L. MSN, RN; Martin, Susan C. MSN, RN; Rogers, Debra J. BSN, RN; Minnier, Tamra E. MSN, RN, FACHE

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000237

The aim of this project was to describe hospital nurses' work activity through observations, nurses' perceptions of time spent on tasks, and electronic health record time stamps. Nurses' attitudes toward technology and patients' perceptions and satisfaction with nurses' time at the bedside were also examined. Activities most frequently observed included documenting in and reviewing the electronic health record. Nurses' perceptions of time differed significantly from observations, and most patients rated their satisfaction with nursing time as excellent or good.

Wolff Center at UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Dr Higgins and Mss Shovel, Martin, Rogers, and Minnier and Mr Bilderback); and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Mss Lorenz and Minnier).

Correspondence: Linda W. Higgins, PhD, RN, Improvement Specialist II, Clinical Improvement Department, Wolff Center at UPMC, 4601 Baum Blvd, Ste 212, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (

This project received funding from Masimo Corporation and the University of Pittsburgh Health Policy Institute

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Accepted for publication: August 20, 2016

Published ahead of print: November 10, 2016

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