Time and Motion Studies – What are They and Can They Help You?

Time and Motion Studies – What are They and Can They Help You?

Time and Motion studies are an appropriate solution when the efficiency of a drug, medical device, or intervention is the outcome of interest. In the current environment of more stringent evidence requirements by regulators and payers alike,  real-world evidence that complements traditional efficacy and safety data is warranted to ensure successful market access and product uptake.

Per the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, a time and motion study is an observation method used to determine the timing and duration of tasks or procedures. These non-interventional studies collect observational data to quantify the impact of a medical intervention on the dynamics of health care professional involvement within a process, as well as the resources consumed in terms of time and consumables. For example, in a time and motion study, observers may follow clinicians and record how long specific tasks, such as completing a prescription or listening to a patient describe her symptoms, take to complete. Researchers and practice managers may use that data to evaluate whether and to what extent health information technology applications, including computerized provider order entry, electronic prescribing, and electronic health records, could increase efficiency and allow clinicians more time for other tasks.

UBC experts perform time and motion studies in order to demonstrate value for new pharmaceutical products in late stage development.  For example, when collecting time and motion data for intravenous (IV) and subcutaneous (SC) processes, value messages for a switch from IV to SC administration could be expressed as “staff time saved” or “infusion chair time freed up” for either an individual patient or for a centre population. Time savings can be monetized to reflect the “opportunity cost” of freeing up personnel and/or facility time. Such derived evidence can serve as crucial inputs for activity-based costing exercises or to inform healthcare management decisions.  These studies and the evidence they collect can also inform health economic analyses that include budget impact models.

Time and motion methodology is a robust study design solution for late phase research when efficiency is a key attribute of a product’s value proposition.  Contact me if you’d like to talk more about how a Time and Motion Study could uncover cost savings opportunities for your product.