Sources of inefficiency: Questions

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    From the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve Unfi:emity, Cleveland, OH.

    Mary L. McHugh, PhD, RN: Assistant Professor of Nursing, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Re- serve University, Cleveland, OH.

    Address reprint requests to Mary L. McHugh, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western University, 2121 Abington Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106.

    1989 by W.B. Saunders Company. 0897.1897189/0202-0011505.00/0

    Sources of Inefficiency: Questions

    F. Theodore Helmer and Shirley F. Olson

    S OME of the keys to increased efficiency come from the following questions: Can some of the nursing tasks accomplished

    during the day and evening shifts be switched to the night shifts? Is there a balance between shifts? Are the proper number of nurses sched- uled?

    Can the unit increase the number or skill levels of the clerical staff to relieve the more expensive RNs of routine tasks?

    Is the cost of a higher skill mix cost-effective

    CLINICAL METHODS

    when unit objectives and the efficiencies of the nursing unit are reviewed?

    Are nurses spending too much time in house- keeping duties that might be done less expen- sively by increasing the housekeeping staff?.

    Are the nurses running too many errands? Can paperwork be streamlined or not completed

    at all? Are all meetings cost-effective? Why is the shift report so long? Can greater use be made of volunteers? Can any established policies or procedures be

    changed to influence efficiency? Can the layout of the ufiit be modified to save

    steps and time? Is the cost of additional training supported by

    increased efficiency of the nurses? Are in- services given during slow periods on slow days?

    Are the staff spending their time properly? Are the patient assignments made with effi-

    ciency in mind?

    From the College of Business, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, and Else School of Management, Millsaps College, Jackson, MS.

    F. Theodore Helmer, PhD: Associate Professor, College of Business, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff; Shirley F. Olson, DBA: Associate Professor, Else School of Management, Millsaps College, Jackson, MS.

    Address reprint requests to F. Theodore Helmer, PhD, As- sociate Professor, College of Business, Northern Arizona Uni- versity, NAU Box 15066, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

    1989 by W.B. Saunders Company. 0897-1897189/0202.0012505.00/0

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