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New Survey Finds Hospital Nurses Spend Half of Each Shift on Tasks Other Than Patient Care

Sarasota, FL (PRWEB) May 09, 2013

Voalte, the leader in mobile healthcare communication, and American Nurse Today, the official journal of the American Nurses Association, today announced the results of a survey that explores how nurses communicate in the nation’s hospitals, the time they spend communicating and their barriers to communication. Released in conjunction with National Nurses Week, the survey reveals the majority of nurses report that time spent communicating with colleagues, charting and waiting for critical patient information together consume more than 53% of their shift. For those working a 12-hour shift, that’s up to 6.3 hours in which nurses are engaged in an activity other than caring for patients.

“Having a clear understanding of the communication challenges nurse leaders and staff nurses face on a daily basis is critical,” said Terry Anderson, Ed.D., Chief Nursing Officer at Voalte. “To deliver a successful alternative, we need to know where the barriers and challenges lie, and this survey helps shed light on some of those issues.”

The survey also shows that staff nurses feel their biggest communication challenge is due to unnecessary interruptions, and that the availability of texting on nursing units decreases the communication barriers nurses experience. Overwhelmingly, nurses at all levels report their primary communication concerns revolve around caring for patients at the bedside, and reducing the number of unnecessary interruptions that negatively impact their ability to do so.

While hospital nurses historically have been on the receiving end of technology chosen by executives and IT managers without regard for nurses’ unique needs, the survey shows the majority of nurse leaders have an influence on their hospitals’ communication technology buying decisions. A discrepancy exists, however, when reporting whether staff nurses also have input on decisions about the devices they use every day. Only 19% of staff nurses feel they have a chance to evaluate new devices, while 47% of nurse leaders believe staff nurses have that input. So while CNOs have a strong voice in buying decisions, their voices may not necessarily reflect the working realities of staff nurses.

“It’s encouraging to see that CNOs are gaining a seat at the table when it comes to selecting clinical communication devices,” said Anderson. “It’s obvious our next step is to start including staff nurses in the process, since they’re in the trenches on a daily basis and really understand which tools will help them provide exceptional patient care.”

Voalte and American Nurse Today conducted the survey in January and February of 2013. Respondents included 464 nurse leaders and 658 staff nurses, for a total of 1,122 respondents. For this Special Report, we cited results from 226 nurse leaders and 287 staff nurses at acute care hospitals only.

“Effective, timely and ‘smart’ communication is key for nurses who provide quality patient care,” said Greg Osborne, Group Publisher and President of HealthCom Media, publisher of American Nurse Today. “We are committed to ongoing initiatives that keep the conversation going to involve all nurses in maximizing their work environment and the quality of nursing care, and ensuring optimal patient outcomes.”

To learn more about “Special Report: Top 10 Clinical Communication Trends,” please visit

About Voalte
Voalte is the only company to provide a fully integrated and dependable clinical communications system that health care professionals want, enjoy and effectively use. Voalte products are designed to be intuitive, high value, mission critical applications running on the latest generation of touch-based smartphones. For more information, visit or call 941.312.2830.

About American Nurse Today
American Nurse Today is the official journal of the American Nurses Association and reaches 175,000 nurses every month. Published 12 times a year – 6 print and 6 electronic issues the journal provides valuable, peer-reviewed, evidence based clinical, practical and career information that nurses can assimilate into their busy practices immediately.

The journal is published by HealthCom Media, a specialty publishing company located in Doylestown, PA. The company also publishes other specialty journals, including Menopause Management. For more information visit or call Greg Osborne at 215.489.7000, ext. 101.

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