What information does WOMBAT collect?

What information does WOMBAT collect?

The first version of WOMBAT (WOMBAT 1.0) collected four dimensions of work: what task is underway; with whom the task is being completed; where the clinician is completing the task; and what information resource, if any, is used. Mutually exclusive definitions of each work task have been prepared and those developed for nurses’ 1, doctors’ 2, and pharmacists’ work have been detailed. All interruptions and multi-tasking (conducting two tasks in parallel) are recorded. Interruptions are not just counted, but information about the nature and length of the interruption, along with information about whether the clinician returns to the interrupted task, is able to be determined from the WOMBAT dataset.

WOMBAT 2.0 allows researchers to design their own data collection tool using these same four dimensions, to tailor their design to answer a particular research question, or to focus on the work of a specific professional group. A web application allows users to input the dimensions, categories and sub-categories desired for a specific study. Thus WOMBAT 2.0 has the ability for researchers to design studies to answer a wide range of questions about different professional groups, or to study the flow of patients through their care.


  1. Ampt A, Westbrook JI. Measuring nurses' time in medication related tasks prior to the implementation of an electronic medication management system. In: Westbrook JI, Coiera E, Callen J, Aarts J, editors. Information Technology in Health Care. Amsterdam: IOS Press; 2007. p. 157-68.
  2. Westbrook JI, Ampt A, Kearney L, Rob MI. All in a day's work: an observational study to quantify how and with whom doctors on hospital wards spend their time. MJA. 2008;188 (9):506-9.
  3. Lo C, Burke R, Westbrook JI. Comparison of pharmacists' work patterns on hospital wards with and without an electronic medication management system (eMMS). J Pharm Prac Res. 2010;40 (2):108-12.

Content owner: Australian Institute of Health Innovation Last updated: 30 Oct 2019 9:07am

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