Get access

Determination of standard times of nursing activities based on a Nursing Minimum Dataset

Authors


D. Myny: e-mail: dries.myny@uzgent.be

Abstract

myny d., van goubergen d., limère v., gobert m., verhaeghe s. & defloor t. (2010) Determination of standard times of nursing activities based on a Nursing Minimum Dataset. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(1), 92–102.

Abstract

Title.  Determination of standard times of nursing activities based on a NursingMinimum Dataset.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study conducted to determine the standard time per nursing activity and the proportion of nursing time covered by the nursing activities of the Belgian Nursing Minimum Dataset compared to the total time of a nurse shift, and to evaluate the correlation between hospital size and standard times of nursing activities.

Background.  Because of a shrinking workforce and rising workload, nursing managers need tools that help them to allocate their staff to the wards. Such tools should be based on objective time measurements.

Methods.  The study was performed in surgical, internal medicine and elder care wards in an acute hospital care setting. In the first phase, a two-round Delphi-procedure was used to operationalize the definitions of nursing activities. In the second phase, the standard time for each nursing activity was determined, based on data collected over a 6-month period during 2006–2007. A combination of 13,292 work sampling observations by external observers, 3000 recordings of direct time measurement by self-recording and subjective time assessments yielded times that were used to analyse the duration of the nursing activities.

Results.  A standard time for 102 nursing activities was established. The coverage of the Belgian Nursing Minimum Dataset in the surgical, internal medicine and elder care wards was 47·5%, 46·4% and 51·0% respectively. The Belgian Nursing Minimum Dataset was found to cover almost 70% of direct and indirect nursing care.

Conclusion.  Further research is needed to assess the impact on the standard times of nursing activities of inefficient organizational structures and different cultural interpretations of the way an activity is conducted.

Ancillary