How Do Residents Spend Their Shift Time? A Time and Motion Study with a Particular Focus on the Use of Computers

This month’s journal club was written by Benjamin Levin, MD, Maine Track ’16, with reference to the following article: How do residents spend their shift time? A time and motion study with a particular focus on the use of computers, Lena Mamykina, PhD, David Vawdrey, PhD, George Hripcsak, MD, MS, Academic Medicine, Published online March 29, 2016. 

Medicine is constantly evolving; we live in an era where copious amounts of medical information are at our fingertips. With a mandate on EHR usage, residents are spending more time on the computer documenting and looking up patient information.   This access to information and creation of information has altered the practice of medicine and changed resident education.

A recent study published in Academic Medicine recorded and analyzed how residents on a general medicine service used their time with a focus on how they utilize computers. I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide if the results are surprising or not and to think about the following questions.

-Does the distribution of documentation and clinical activity correspond with your own experience?

-Are we experiencing documentation and information overload?

-Is resident education suffering due to the burden of documentation?

-Should there be concerns about quality after examining the results of this study?

 

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