The administrative burden placed on nurses has grown exponentially in recent years, driven by factors such as technological advancements, increased documentation requirements and complex regulatory frameworks. From updating patient charts and managing medical records to coordinating care and processing paperwork, nurses find themselves entangled in a web of administrative responsibilities that consume valuable time that could be better spent at the bedside.

But how can we address this issue? How can we streamline administrative tasks, reduce paperwork, and empower nurses to spend more time where it truly matters – with their patients? This blog aims to explore practical solutions and innovative strategies that can transform the nursing landscape and optimise the allocation of nursing resources.

Join us as we delve into the challenges faced by nurses due to excessive administrative tasks and discover actionable steps that can be taken to foster change.

Do nurses really spend 88 days a year on administrative tasks?

Yes, the latest data shows that nurses who visit people in their homes spend more time on administrative tasks than they do actually caring for patients.

The amount of time that nurses spend on admin tasks is eating into the time they have to spend with patients and means that a large amount of the NHS’s budget actually goes towards administration. But what if nurses could reduce the amount of time they spend on admin without compromising on the quality of patient care or the accuracy of patient records?

How nurses can reduce the time they spend on admin tasks?

There are ways in which nurses and hospital administrators can reduce the burden of admin to maximise the amount of time that nurses have to spend with patients. Combining technological solutions with effective management, hospitals may be able to vastly cut down the need to spend hours on admin every day. Let’s take a look at some of the most promising solutions to this problem.

Automation

Implementing automated systems and technologies can significantly reduce the time nurses spend on administrative tasks. By automating routine processes such as data entry, appointment scheduling, and report generation, nurses can redirect their focus towards patient care. For example, using electronic health record (EHR) systems that automate documentation, medication administration, and order entry can streamline workflows and minimise paperwork.

Inventory Management Systems

Nurses often spend valuable time managing and restocking medical supplies, which can be a time-consuming administrative task. Implementing an efficient inventory management system can help nurses track and manage supplies more effectively, ensuring that essential items are readily available when needed. Such systems can automate inventory tracking, generate alerts for low stock, and streamline the ordering process, allowing nurses to spend less time on administrative tasks related to supply management.

Watch our webinar on how data standards and inventory management systems can help our healthcare system.

Delegation and support staff

Reducing the administrative burden on nurses can be achieved by delegating certain tasks to dedicated support staff. By leveraging the skills of administrative assistants or clerical personnel, nurses can offload non-clinical responsibilities, such as appointment scheduling, data entry, and phone call handling. This delegation allows nurses to prioritise direct patient care while ensuring that essential administrative tasks are still completed efficiently.

These are just a few examples of how nurses can reduce their time spent on administrative tasks. Exploring other technological advancements and inventory management solutions, streamlining communication processes, and advocating for policy changes that simplify documentation requirements are additional avenues worth considering. Ultimately, the goal is to find innovative solutions that optimise nurses’ time, enabling them to devote their expertise and compassion to the most critical aspect of their profession – caring for patients.

How could Elcom’s inventory management solution help?

With some nurses spending more than half their time on non-patient-facing duties, Elcom’s ScanOR solution can help. It reduces the need for skilled care staff to manually record item usage in books and search shelves for goods. Since adopting six Scan4Safety demonstrator sites with a robust inventory management approach, an estimated 140,000 hours have been released to care.

Stock taking over several stores containing, potentially thousands of items can be a hugely resource-intensive process. Using an Inventory Management System (IMS) like Elcom’s means that regular full checks for ordering or annual counts for finance are no longer required. A study by Mckinsey estimated a 30% saving as a one-off benefit to the organisation by introducing Inventory Management, with an additional 50% waste reduction saving being made by IM solutions.

By using the Elcom IMS, goods will be requested as soon as they reach their reorder trigger level. This reduces the need to request urgent deliveries that may occur when stock is manually managed. Reduction in delivery and courier costs is estimated to be between 50% and 80%.

These savings demonstrate how Elcom’s inventory management solution can reduce the administrative burden on nurses and maximise the quality of patient care.

Author

  • Carolina Duran

    Carolina Duran, VP of Marketing at ELCOM, joined ELCOM in May 2016 to lead the company's marketing team and implement a robust and efficient strategy to secure brand positioning and growth in the UK and internationally. ELCOM is a global Supply Chain Technology Provider which praised itself for making procurement smarter, more connected, and transparent.

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