Is Spending More Time Associated With Less Missed Care?: A Comparison of Time Use and Missed Care Across 15 Nursing Units at 2 Hospitals

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between nursing time use and perceptions of missed care.

BACKGROUND:

Recent literature has highlighted the problem of missed nursing care, but little is known about how nurses’ time use patterns are associated with reports of missed care.

METHODS:

In 15 nursing units at 2 hospitals, we assessed registered nurse (RN) perceptions of missed care, observed time use by RNs, and examined the relationship between time spent and degree of missed care at the nursing unit level.

RESULTS:

Patterns of time use were similar across hospitals, with 25% of time spent on documentation. For 6 different categories of nursing tasks, no association was detected between time use, including time spent on documentation, and the degree of missed care at the nursing unit level.

CONCLUSIONS:

Nursing time use cannot fully explain variation in missed care across nursing units. Further work is needed to account for patterns of missed care.

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