Understanding and Visualizing Multitasking and Task Switching Activities: A Time Motion Study to Capture Nursing Workflow

Po Yin Yen, Marjorie Kelley, Marcelo Lopetegui, Amber L. Rosado, Elaina M. Migliore, Esther M. Chipps, Jacalyn Buck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

A fundamental understanding of multitasking within nursing workflow is important in today's dynamic and complex healthcare environment. We conducted a time motion study to understand nursing workflow, specifically multitasking and task switching activities. We used TimeCaT, a comprehensive electronic time capture tool, to capture observational data. We established inter-observer reliability prior to data collection. We completed 56 hours of observation of 10 registered nurses. We found, on average, nurses had 124 communications and 208 hands-on tasks per 4-hour block of time. They multitasked (having communication and hands-on tasks simultaneously) 131 times, representing 39.48% of all times; the total multitasking duration ranges from 14.6 minutes to 109 minutes, 44.98 minutes (18.63%) on average. We also reviewed workflow visualization to uncover the multitasking events. Our study design and methods provide a practical and reliable approach to conducting and analyzing time motion studies from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1264-1273
Number of pages10
JournalAMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings. AMIA Symposium
Volume2016
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

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