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Internal medicine residents' time study: paperwork versus patient care.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Multiple factors affect residency education, including duty-hour restrictions and documentation requirements for regulatory compliance. We designed a work sampling study to determine the proportion of time residents spend in structured education, direct patient care, indirect patient care that must be completed by a physician, indirect patient care that 5 be delegated to other health care workers, and personal activities while on an inpatient general practice unit. METHODS: The 3-month study in 2009 involved 14 categorical internal medicine residents who volunteered to use personal digital assistants to self-report their location and primary tasks while on an inpatient general practice unit. RESULTS: Residents reported spending most of their time at workstations (43%) and less time in patient rooms (20%). By task, residents spent 39% of time on indirect patient care that must be completed by a physician, 31% on structured education, 17% on direct patient care, 9% on indirect patient care that 5 be delegated to other health care workers, and 4% on personal activities. From these data we estimated that residents spend 34 minutes per patient per day completing indirect patient care tasks compared with 15 minutes per patient per day in direct patient care. CONCLUSIONS: This single-institution time study objectively quantified a current state of how and where internal medicine residents spend their time while on a general practice unit, showing that residents overall spend less time on direct patient care compared with other activities.

SUBMITTER: Alromaihi D 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3244324 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): 10.4300/JGME-D-11-00057.1

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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