Date of Completion

Fall 11-30-2016

Project Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration and Health Policy



Committee Chair/First Advisor

V. Doreen Wagner

Committee Member

Nancy Ballard



Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the length of time the ambulatory surgical services nurse spends on the EHR compared to performing hands-on patient care.

Design: The research design used in this study was a non-experimental descriptive design.

Methods: Twenty-two surgical services nurses at a small not-for-profit hospital located in the southeastern United States were invited to participate in the study. Out of the 16 ambulatory surgical services nurses that completed the study, one participant was omitted due to incompleteness resulting in a total of 15 time-studies that were used for the data analysis, resulting in a usable return rate of 94%.

Data Analysis: Descriptive statistics were performed to describe the amount of time the ambulatory surgical services nurse spent on the computer and to describe the amount of time the ambulatory surgical services nurse spent performing hands-on patient care. Independent t-tests were used to compare the differences in the two variables of interest (time spent on the EHR and time spent on hands-on care) with an alpha of 0.05 considered statistically significant.

Discussion of Findings: The ambulatory surgical services nurses spent an average of 16.3% of a ten-hour shift working on a computer as compared to 9.1% of their time performing hands-on care in the same shift. The amount of time spent performing hands-on care is significantly (p = 0.001) different than the amount of time spent on the EHR.

Clinical Relevance: Further exploration of nurses’ time spent on the EHR is needed to gain further insight into the differences in time of EHR usage by the ambulatory surgical services nurse as compared to hands-on care provided.