Who is doing what in home care services?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH). 2021, 18 (19), 1-9. 10.3390/ijerph181910504
Background: This paper investigates the distribution of work hours by activity, for the main staff categories in home care services in three rural Norwegian municipalities. In Norway these categories are registered nurses, assistant nurses and assistant health workers. (2) Methods: The three categories of home care staff recorded 20,964 eligible observations over 8 weeks. We identified 19 activities, which were recorded. The majority of staff used a smartphone application for the time measuring, while some staff used a manual form for reporting purposes. (3) Results: The registered nurses (RNs) spent 32% of their time on direct patient work, while driving accounted for 18%. Direct patient work and driving accounted for the majority of activities performed by assistant nurses (48% and 29%, respectively) and assistant health workers (70% and 17%, respectively). (4) Conclusions: The demand for home care services is increasing in terms of both size and complexity. Simultaneously, there is a growing shortage of skilled staff. RNs is the group with the least face-toface time with patients. To meet the patients’ needs, it is necessary to discuss and modify existing home care service systems in order to use resources appropriately and effectively. Keywords: home care, staffing, health care organizations and systems