Quantifying nursing workflow in medication administration.
Adoption of new technology, including bar-coding systems and electronic medication administration records, is viewed as a method to improve medication administration safety. However, unintended consequences from new technology implementation have been reported. This AHRQ-supported time–motion study observed and characterized typical nursing workflow and discovered that medication administration is the most time-consuming task, followed by communication and direct care of patients. As technology creates new workflow and processes, the authors advocate for careful implementation, as increased time in one activity is certain to jeopardize and decrease time available to complete other and equally important aspects of nursing care.