Stopwatch II

Study Name: 
Stopwatch II: Observational Study of Nursing Tasks in Primary Care
Study Period: 
October 1, 2012 to September 1, 2013
Self-funded Project
Principal Investigators: 
Daren Anderson, MD

In this study, we used a formal quality improvement process, Clinical Microsystems, to design a new model to provide care coordination for complex patients cared for in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). By following a structured improvement process the team was able to address critical issues and determine how best to integrate care coordination activities into its clinic workflow. The result was a new staffing model that included a nurse specifically assigned to care coordination tasks. This new model did not require any additional staff time, funding, or external support. To evaluate the impact of the Microsystem team’s new model on workflow, six nurses were observed (2 Care Coordinators, 2 Pod nurses and 2 Control nurses) at three different CHCI sites (New Britain, New London, and Meriden) and a stopwatch was used to record how much time was spent on specific nursing tasks. Tasks were classified into various domains and care coordination tasks and the time spent on each was quantified.