You are here

Using the time and motion method to study clinical work processes and workflow: methodological inconsistencies and a call for standardized research.

TitleUsing the time and motion method to study clinical work processes and workflow: methodological inconsistencies and a call for standardized research.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsZheng, K, Guo, MH, Hanauer, DA
JournalJ Am Med Inform Assoc
Volume18
Issue5
Pagination704-10
Date Published2011 Sep-Oct
ISSN1527-974X
KeywordsChecklist, Data Collection, Health Plan Implementation, Humans, Medical Informatics, Reference Standards, Time and Motion Studies, Workflow
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To identify ways for improving the consistency of design, conduct, and results reporting of time and motion (T&M) research in health informatics.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed the commonalities and divergences of empirical studies published 1990-2010 that have applied the T&M approach to examine the impact of health IT implementation on clinical work processes and workflow. The analysis led to the development of a suggested 'checklist' intended to help future T&M research produce compatible and comparable results. We call this checklist STAMP (Suggested Time And Motion Procedures).RESULTS: STAMP outlines a minimum set of 29 data/ information elements organized into eight key areas, plus three supplemental elements contained in an 'Ancillary Data' area, that researchers may consider collecting and reporting in their future T&M endeavors.DISCUSSION: T&M is generally regarded as the most reliable approach for assessing the impact of health IT implementation on clinical work. However, there exist considerable inconsistencies in how previous T&M studies were conducted and/or how their results were reported, many of which do not seem necessary yet can have a significant impact on quality of research and generalisability of results. Therefore, we deem it is time to call for standards that can help improve the consistency of T&M research in health informatics. This study represents an initial attempt.CONCLUSION: We developed a suggested checklist to improve the methodological and results reporting consistency of T&M research, so that meaningful insights can be derived from across-study synthesis and health informatics, as a field, will be able to accumulate knowledge from these studies.

DOI10.1136/amiajnl-2011-000083
Alternate JournalJ Am Med Inform Assoc
PubMed ID21527407
PubMed Central IDPMC3168304
Grant ListUL1RR024986 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States
People: 
David Hanauer
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center at North Campus Reserach Complex
1600 Huron Parkway, Bldg 100, Rm 100 
Mailing Address: 2800 Plymouth Rd, NCRC 100-1004
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800 
Ph. (734) 764-8848 Fax. (734) 615-0517
Please acknowledge the Cancer Center Support Grant (P30 CA046592) when publishing manuscripts or abstracts that utilized the services of the University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Center's Shared Resource: Cancer Informatics.
Suggested language: "Research reported in this [publication/press release] was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number P30CA046592."

Copyright © Cancer Center Informatics-2011 Regents of the University of Michigan