TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Internal medicine residents at a Swiss teaching hospital spend about half their workday using the computer, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Nathalie Wenger, M.D., from the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland, and colleagues assessed how residents allocate their time during day and evening hospital shifts in a time and motion study. The activities of 36 internal medicine residents, with an average of 29 months of postgraduate training, were recorded using a tablet-based application. The residents were observed for 696.7 hours.
The researchers found that during day shifts, which lasted 11.6 hours (1.6 hours more than scheduled), activities indirectly and directly related to patients accounted for 52.4 and 28.0 percent of the time, respectively. Residents spent an average of 1.7 hours, 5.2 hours, and 13 minutes with patients, using computers, and doing both, respectively. Time spent using the computer was dispersed throughout the day; use was heaviest after 6.00 pm.
“At this Swiss teaching hospital, internal medicine residents spent more time at work than scheduled,” the authors write. “Activities indirectly related to patients predominated, and about half the workday was spent using a computer.”
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