The Preadmission Packet: A Strategy That Benefits Patients and Nurses During the Admission Process (Report)
In the hospital, the nurse-patient relationship usually begins with the assessment interview, a process that requires nurses to communicate and interact effectively with patients. Nevertheless, this initial assessment, which is a recurring and constant feature of a nurse’s work, competes for the nurse’s time with other demands such as patients’ needs, doctors’ orders, and a nursing philosophy that emphasizes individualized patient care (1). In a busy facility with a large number of admissions each day, the pressure on nurses to complete the required paperwork–while still being thorough and accurate–can be tremendous. In our “increasingly litigious culture of hyper-regulation, health care providers feel pressured to focus on documentation rather than the administration of care” (2). There has been a dramatic increase in paperwork, which is often repetitive and duplicated (3). In fact, acute care nurses spend approximately 25% of their time completing paperwork (4), a task that has been cited as the most unsatisfying part of nursing because it takes time away from patient care. With increasing emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness in today’s health care systems, management of a nurse’s time is a very important consideration (5). Although the implementation of electronic medical records (and related devices intended to improve information access) is changing the amount and duration of nursing activities, the impact of this new technology on nursing care delivery is open to question (6). Regardless of whether paper-based or computer-based documentation is used, finding ways to enhance nurses’ efficiency so they can spend quality time with their patients remains a priority.