Table 1

Work tasks and definitions

Work taskDefinition
Direct careAll tasks directly involved with patient care, includes direct communication with patient and/or family
Indirect careAll tasks indirectly related to patient care
 Find med recordSearching for a patient's medical record
 Find x-ray/scanSearching for a patient's x-ray or scan
 Other indirectAll other indirect tasks (eg, reviewing results, planning care)
All medication tasksAll tasks associated with medication, includes preparation, administration, documentation, discussion and clarification)
 Find orderSearching for medication charts/medical records with drug order
 Prescribe drugOrdering a drug (includes discharge scripts, verbal orders)
 Transcribe orderCopying medication orders from one med chart to another
 Prepare drugAll activity around drug preparation and clean-up
 ClarifyClarifying a drug order (with other people or other sources)
 Check drugChecking and co-signing of a drug given by another staff member
 AdminGiving medication(s) to a patient
 ChartDocumenting the drug administration details
 DiscussTalking about a drug with health professional and/or patient and/or relative
 ReviewLooking over drug orders as part of planning care
DocumentationAny recording of patient information on paper or computer, excludes medication documentation
 Discharge summariesSpecifically documenting discharge summaries using an electronic discharge summary system at this site
 Other documentationAll other non-medication-related documentation
Professional communicationAll non-medication-related communication with another health professional, includes meetings, requests for medical consults and discussion around planning care
AdministrativeAny administrative activity that is not related to direct or indirect individual patient care—for example, employment issues, bed allocations
In transitTime between tasks and between patients
Supervision/educationSupervising others, including supervising students as well as attending education sessions
Social activitiesAll non-work activity or communication, as well as tea and meal breaks
PagerWhenever the pager alerts, this is recorded as an interruption; only includes time taken to look at and turn off pager