Time-motion analysis of research nurse activities in a lung transplant home monitoring study.

Ruth Lindquist, Arin VanWormer, Bruce Lindgren, Kathleen MacMahon, William Robiner, Stanley Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The emergence and subsequent integration of new technologies precipitate changes in roles and work lives of nurses. The nurses' work with home monitoring technologies within a spirometry-based program that transmits pulmonary function data after lung transplantation has characteristics that are distinct from other types of direct patient care. Nurses' changing roles in such programs after transplantation have not been well described. To describe a time-motion study of 2 research nurses in the context of a home-spirometry study to monitor patients' pulmonary status after lung transplantation. A detailed list of research nurses' 67 routine work-related activities was developed and validated to monitor and record activities of research home monitoring nurses. Two weeks of observations were completed; recordings of a second observer established reliability of observations. In 48.8 hours of observation, 610 tasks related to monitoring of 45 patients were recorded. Task time ranged from brief seconds (eg, data review) to 39 minutes (eg, clinic visits). Between-observer intraclass correlation (r = 0.96) reflected high agreement in observations of the duration of activities. Agreement for category of activity was strong (kappa = 0.82), with high levels of agreement (96%). Computer tasks were the most frequent (118 tasks/week) and most time-intensive activities. Nurses' face-to-face interactions with health professionals were equally time intensive (both 267 minutes/week), but not as frequent. Data review tasks were the second most frequent (49/week), although less time-intensive (47 minutes/week). Findings reveal patterns of effort and time expenditure in nurses' evolving roles in home monitoring of the health status of patients after lung transplantation. These findings highlight the centrality and importance of well-developed data management, computer skills, and interprofessional communication skills of nurses who perform responsibilities in this emerging role in transplantation. Efforts to streamline computerized information access, as through integrated information systems, and methods to enhance efficiency in connecting with patients in the clinic may free up time for nurses to engage in other activities of direct benefit to patients. Strategies to supplement face-to-face meetings among professionals with electronic modalities may reduce the time spent meeting, while maintaining or enhancing communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-199
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in transplantation (Aliso Viejo, Calif.)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011


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