For each hour spent on patient care per shift, a nurse can spend 30 minutes to one hour on paperwork.1 Up to three hours per shift can be consumed by documentation activities, including:
Smart charting technologies — such as mobile devices and automated documentation — may help you save time.
Documenting with mobile devices can significantly reduce discrepancies and errors while recording patient data — by 14 percent.([FOOTNOTE=Prgomet M, Georgiou A, Westbrook JI. The impact of mobile handheld technology on hospital physicians' work practices and patient care: a systematic review. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2009;16(6):792–801. doi: 10.1197/jamia.M3215.],[ANCHOR=],[LINK=]) A six-month study found that physicians using mobile devices prescribed antibiotics at a lower rate, while patient length of stay decreased by one day.([FOOTNOTE=Mickan S, Tilson JK, Atherton H, Roberts NW, Heneghan C. Evidence of effectiveness of health care professionals using handheld computers: a scoping review of systematic reviews. J Med Internet Res. 2013;15(10):e212. doi:10.2196/jmir.2530.],[ANCHOR=],[LINK=])
Manual record-keeping may introduce errors to patient data ranging from medication status to patient education. One hospital implemented a standardized electronic recording system and improved the quality of the charts. Reports meeting documentation standards increased by 49.5 percent.([FOOTNOTE=Heidarizadeh K, Rassouli M, Manoochehri H. Effect of electronic report writing on the quality of nursing report recording. Electron Physician. 2017;9(10):5439–5445. doi:10.19082/5439.],[ANCHOR=],[LINK=])
Mobile devices can keep patient data within reach wherever clinicians are on the floor. Tablets storing electronic medical records (EMRs) can reduce time spent on hospital rounds and charting. One group of physicians using mobile tablets during hospital rounds spent up to 1.4 minutes more at each patient's bedside.([FOOTNOTE=Fleischmann R, Duhm J, Hupperts H. Tablet computers with mobile electronic medical records enhance clinical routine and promote bedside time: a controlled prospective crossover study. J Neurol. 2015;262(3):532–540. doi:10.1007/s00415-014-7581-7.],[ANCHOR=],[LINK=])
Nurses can spend up to 35.3 percent of their shift on documentation.([FOOTNOTE=Hendrich A, Chow MP, Skierczynski BA, et al. A 36-hospital time and motion study: how do medical-surgical nurses spend their time? Perm J. 2008;12(3):25–34.],[ANCHOR=],[LINK=]) Patient monitoring devices connected to EMR systems can transmit patient data automatically — saving nurses one to two minutes each time they have to read and update charts.1
A nurse may spend up to 48 minutes per shift waiting for computer access, with each login taking up to two minutes.7 Six hospitals in one health network reduced wait times by implementing single sign-on technology. Across all facilities, 2,256 clinicians saved 1,461 hours — the equivalent of 122 shifts — per facility, per year.8
The time savings translated to $92,146 in annual financial returns for each facility.8