Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Implementation of Clinical Assistants in a Pediatric Oncology Department: an Activity and Clinical Time Release Analysis

Version 1 : Received: 20 November 2021 / Approved: 22 November 2021 / Online: 22 November 2021 (14:00:03 CET)

How to cite: Adroher, C.; Calvo, C.; Pavon, L.; Casadevall, R.; Alvarez, E.; Marsal, M.; Lopez, F.; Morales La Madrid, A. Implementation of Clinical Assistants in a Pediatric Oncology Department: an Activity and Clinical Time Release Analysis. Preprints 2021, 2021110399 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0399.v1). Adroher, C.; Calvo, C.; Pavon, L.; Casadevall, R.; Alvarez, E.; Marsal, M.; Lopez, F.; Morales La Madrid, A. Implementation of Clinical Assistants in a Pediatric Oncology Department: an Activity and Clinical Time Release Analysis. Preprints 2021, 2021110399 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0399.v1).

Abstract

Background: There is a high bureaucratic and administrative burden associated with health care tasks (test requesting, visits scheduling, supporting documents provision) that has historically largely fallen on health care professionals, which is one among the factors contributing to low job satisfaction and lower productivity. Incorporating new professional roles that help to better respond to the needs of both patients and professionals can increase the quality and efficiency of service provision. Objective: To evaluate the impact of the clinical assistant’s introduction in the Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital’s pediatric oncology department, in terms of displacement of activity loads carried out by this new professional role and the consequent time freed up for physicians. Methodology: Observational and retrospective study using administrative data based on the analysis of the type of activity performed by clinical assistants and the measurement of the time freed up in favor of the physicians, based on in situ timekeeping, to approximate the potential skill mix productivity increase. Results: Since its implementation in the pediatric oncology department, clinical assistants have performed 13,553 requests (69.93% of the total), representing a total saving of 266.83 hours or 6.67 workweeks of 40 hours. They performed 74.25% of outpatient surgical requests in the oncology department, 87.5% of day hospital requests and 54.13% of total requests in the outpatient consultations area. Conclusion: The introduction of clinical assistants in the oncology department could be efficient to the extent that it displaces a good part of the bureaucratic and administrative tasks previously performed by health care professionals. This delegation allows them to work more closely to the maximum of their competences and the physicians to have more time for higher added value clinical tasks. In terms of efficiency, this role change enables to optimize the clinical process, reducing the cost by 56% compared to the conventional model.

Keywords

clinical assistants; pediatric oncology; assistance activity; new roles; skill mix

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Pediatrics

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