Time-motion studies pinpoint where hospitalists could save time

You know your day is a nonstop stream of interruptions, pages and patient questions, with endless rounds of orders and documentation. But two new time-motion studies, both published in the July-August issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine, pinpoint exactly how hospitalists spend their day.

The first study, which had observers shadow hospitalists at Chicago’s Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, came up with these sobering figures: Hospitalists spend less than one-fifth of their day (17%) on direct patient care. Instead, they spend twothirds (64%) on indirect patient care, with communication taking up a good 25% of their day.