Validation of standard times and influencing factors during the development of the Workload Indicator for Nursing

Authors


Abstract

Background

A tool to assist in optimal allocation of available nursing resources is of paramount importance.

Aims

The goals of this study were as follows: (1) to determine whether the standard time values of the Belgian Nursing Minimum Dataset are a valid basis for the development of a Workload Indicator for Nursing; (2) to quantify the impact of factors that most influence nursing workload; and (3) to examine the cross-impact of items of the Belgian Nursing Minimum Dataset.

Design

This research project is a prospective observational study with exploratory aspects.

Methods

The data for this prospective study were collected during September 2010 from a convenience sample of 23 nursing units in four hospitals in Belgium. The data collection included three parts: (1) the registration of the items of the Belgian Nursing Minimum Dataset; (2) the amount of time committed to direct patient care; and (3) analysis of variables, which influence the nursing workload at patient and unit level.

Results

The correlation coefficients for the sum of Direct and Indirect Patient Care and the Workload Indicator for Nursing-score of the surgical, internal medicine and intensive care units were 0·85, 0·88 and 0·89 respectively. Significant differences in standard time utilization for nursing activities at the patient level are directly related to the level of mobility assistance required. Units needing significantly more time for Direct and Indirect Patient Care than predicted by the Workload Indicator for Nursing-score had a higher mean number of complex nursing activities per patient.

Conclusions

The high correlation coefficients between the total time utilized for direct patient care and the WiN-score indicate that the standard time values of the Belgian Nursing Minimum Dataset are valid.

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