Nurse productivity: using evidence to enhance nurses’ use of time
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Nurse productivity: using evidence to enhance nurses’ use of time

Sara Morgan Director of clinical services at a private hospital, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise some of the issues related to measuring and enhancing nurse productivity

  • To learn about several product improvement initiatives that have been implemented in healthcare

  • To consider various approaches that may be beneficial in optimising the use of nurses’ time

The UK is experiencing a nursing shortage, making it challenging to maintain the staffing levels required to deliver effective patient care. One way of enhancing the care delivered by the existing workforce could be to optimise nurse productivity; however, previous efforts to do this have been largely ineffective, due in part to a focus on the processes of care delivery rather than the nursing activities within these processes. In this article, the author explores the concept of nurse productivity and suggests that enhancing productivity requires the identification of nursing activities and consideration of how these may be undertaken in a more time-efficient manner – or removed altogether. The author discusses two such activities: intentional (hourly) rounding, and fixed-time manual vital signs for patients on general wards. The author also considers the potential of using automatic continuous remote monitoring on general hospital wards to free up nurses’ time for other care activities.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2024.e12251

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Morgan S (2024) Nurse productivity: using evidence to enhance nurses’ use of time. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2024.e12251

Published online: 12 February 2024

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