Posted: March 22nd, 2023

Budgetary Impacts of Non-Productive Time

Rising budgetary expectations in nursing focus on how nurses utilize productive and nonproductive hours of service. Alghamdi (2016) demonstrates the effectiveness of Walker and Avant’s method, which was developed to manage nonproductive time in clinical care. According to the author, the model enables controls on labor cost, technology integration, elimination of agency employees, and enhanced clinical care. The author categorizes nonproductive time into clusters of direct and indirect care activities. Indirect hours are spent on paid vacations, holidays, and sick leave among others while the direct hours are spent on activities, such as orientation, meetings, continuing medical education (CME) programs, and other professional undertakings.

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Nonproductive time affects the budget by creating a need for more nurses to manage the patients’ expectations leading to an increase in costs, including salaries or allowances. Notably, 76% and 24% of nursing time is spent on direct and indirect patient care, respectively (Alghamdi, 2016). The analysis confirms the significance of managing the time spent on nonproductive time.

Managing nonproductive time enhances care to patients and reduces budgetary allocations. Lopetegui et al. (2014) illustrate that the adoption of healthcare informatics has improved efficiency in documentation. According to the authors, clinicians overstate the contact time with patients and understate hours spent on non-productive activities. However, activities spent in nonproductive time are also crucial in managing administrative activities in a facility and improving patients’ health outcomes. For instance, spending time on CME and mentoring new nurses are critical activities that enhance the administration of healthcare facilities. In addition, enhanced clinical knowledge contributes to improved care. More importantly, hours spent on paid vacation and holidays improve work-life balance and enhance the motivation of clinical staff.

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