How can nurses save up to an hour per shift

16th February 2022

How do we achieve better patient outcomes through workflow efficiencies. Nurses time is strained which is why the implementation of innovative technology is crucial to save time and money in busy healthcare environments.

Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of nursing staff is essential to hospital function and the delivery of safe patient care. Despite this, more than one-third of nurses spend at least one hour finding items of equipment during an average hospital shift, according to a survey by Nursing Times1.
These findings suggest that nurses could spend the equivalent of 40 hours per month searching for equipment. In the majority of cases, nurses were looking for devices or consumables. Among the most sought items were thermometers and plastics caps for thermometers.


Another study showed that 35.3% of nurses time is spent on documentation and a further 17.2% on medication administration2. In fact, research shows they only spend 37% of their time with patients3.
One study at the Illinois hospital medical-surgical units, found that if nurses cared for no more than 4 patients each, thousands of deaths could be avoided and patients would experience shorter lengths of stay, resulting in huge cost-savings for hospitals4.


A further study estimated that nurses spend approximately 7% of their time searching for supplies5.
Nurses spend a considerable amount of time on activities that don’t add much value, this time could be better spent caring for patients. Evidence shows that there is benefit in assisting nursing leaders to develop strategies for transforming nursing practice through re-examination of nursing work and activities6.

How can efficiencies be made?

Enabling innovation in your hospital is so important. Innovation must form a central part of your organization’s strategy to ensure effective cost management. Nursing is about identifying problems and suggesting solutions. With their daily experience delivering vital patient care at the front line, nursing staff are an invaluable resource in devising and implementing innovative strategies across your facility.


One way for hospitals to save time is to adopt innovative devices that are designed to improve workflow efficiencies for healthcare professionals. Yet, in many hospitals, nurses are still using traditional contact thermometers such as the tympanic or axilla thermometer.


Both of these methods require a plastic probe cover to be changed at every reading. Nurses spend several minutes per temperature reading, locating, attaching and disposing of these probe covers. Because temperatures are taken on every patient approximately every 4-6 hours, these methods can become very time consuming across the duration of a shift. It is also worth noting that axilla thermometers need left in place for roughly 5 minutes in order to obtain an accurate reading.

TRITEMP™ non-contact, hospital-grade thermometer is designed with nurses in mind.

TRITEMP™ has been designed to be robust and accurate enough to withstand use in busy healthcare environments. TRITEMP™ gives core body temperature readings in just seconds, without the need to use plastic consumables.


When TRITEMP™ is compared to other contact thermometers, the time savings are obvious. Accurate readings in just a second.

One 150 bed hospital in Dublin reported saving over 500 hours in under a year by switching to TRITEMP™7. To find out more about how your hospital can save money and increase workflow efficiencies, email jcromie@trimedika.com

FAQ’s

Helpful ways nurses can save time ?

One way nurses can save time is to adopt innovative devices that are designed to improve workflow efficiencies for nurses and other healthcare professionals, such as the TRITEMP™ medical grade non-contact thermometerHow much time do nurses spend taking patient temperature?

Temperatures are taken approximately every 4-6 hours in hospitals. Contact thermometers such as tympanics, require nurses to source, change and dispose of a plastic probe cover at every reading. This can take several minutes. with TRITEMP™ no plastic probe covers are required – simply TAP & TAKE.How does TRITEMP™ help with patient care ?

Additionally, with TRITEMP™, the nurse doesn’t have to disturb the patient or waken them to take a temperature, minimizing distress for both the patient and the nurse.How long do nurses spend finding equipment on a ward ?

Findings suggest that nurses could spend the equivalent of 40 hours per month searching for equipment. In the majority of cases, nurses were looking for devices or consumables. Among the most sought items were thermometers and plastic caps for thermometers.

References

1 https://www.nursingtimes.net/archive/nurses-waste-an-hour-a-shift-finding-equipment-10-02-2009/
2 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49845558_A_36-Hospital_Time_and_Motion_Study_How_Do_Medical-Surgical_Nurses_Spend_Their_Time
3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22111656/
4 https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/12/e052899.full
5 https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20190321.822588/full/
6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371290/
7 Internal case study – principal Clinical Engineer, Bon Secours Dublin

Discover more about TriMedika here:

TriMedika is an innovative medical technology company that provides the most accurate clinical devices for hospitals worldwide. The first product to market is TRITEMP™, a precision engineered, hospital-grade non-contact thermometer sold in 21 countries internationally and over 1500 hospitals.

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