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Table 1 Direct Work Steps: Average duration of each step and time worked by employee

From: Patient and work flow and costs associated with staff time and facility usage at a comprehensive cancer centre in Quebec, Canada – a time and motion study

Direct Work Steps n Mean Time (min)
   (95% Confidence Interval)
Physician Visits   
Average Total Duration of Physician Visit 48 129.2 (114.2 – 144.2)
7th floor registration (secretary) a, b 45 1.3 (1.1 - 1.6)
Blood Test – Physician Visit (phlebotomist or nurse) a,b 36 3.6 (2.7 - 4.5)
 1. phlebotomist* 27 2.7 (2.0 - 3.4)
 2. nurse* 9 6.2 (3.4 - 9.0)
Weighing (orderly) a, b 42 1.0 (0.9 - 1.1)
Appointment with Oncologist (physician) a 48 33.3 (28.4 - 38.2)
Appointment Booking (secretary) a, b 44 12.1 (10.1 - 14.1)
Other - Physician Visit (secretary, nurse, physiotherapist) a, b 48 0.3 (−0.1 - 0.7)
Total mean duration of timed visit steps a   51.6 (46.3 - 57.1)
Total mean time worked by employees (excluding physicians) b   18.3 (14.1 – 22.6)
Treatment Visits   
Average Total Duration of Treatment Visit 60 393.0 (374.9 – 411.1)
8th floor registration (secretary) c, d 36 1.1 (1.0 - 1.2)
Blood Test – Treatment Visit (phlebotomist or nurse) c, d 35 9.9 (6.8 - 13.0)
 1. phlebotomist* 12 2.9 (2.1 - 3.7)
 2. nurse* 23 13.5 (9.3 - 17.7)
Pharmacy (secretary) c, d 47 1.4 (1.1 - 1.6)
Treatment (overall treatment time) c 60 322.7 (308.1 - 337.4)
Treatment (nurse time) d 60 24.6 (18.2 - 31.0)
Oncologist consultation during treatment visit c 48 0.5 (0.0 - 0.9)
Discharge (overall discharge time) c 58 6.3 (3.3 - 9.3)
Discharge (nurse time) d 58 11.0 (−1.0 - 23.1)
Other- Treatment Visit (dietitian, social worker) c, d 60 1.6 (0.5 - 2.8)
Total mean duration of timed visit steps c   343.5 (328.1 - 358.7)
Total mean time worked by employees d   49.6 (26.1 – 73.1)
Other Visits (determined by chart review)   
Unscheduled visits to clinic 10 121.8
Phone calls (nurse) 3 20.0
Cancer Nutrition-Rehabilitation Program 3 139.0
Emergency Room visits 11 794.8
  1. aApplicable for duration of work step.
  2. bApplicable for time worked by employee.
  3. cApplicable for duration of work step.
  4. dApplicable for time worked by employee.
  5. *Whether blood is taken by the nurse or phlebotomist is dependent on the special circumstances of the patient, therefore when calculating the total mean time worked by employees the combined mean time was used rather than the individual mean times for the phlebotomist and the nurse.