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Practical Tips For Using Patient Whiteboards In Healthcare Settings

Practical tips for using patient whiteboards - Improve efficiency and patient satisfaction

Patient whiteboards have become an essential tool in modern healthcare settings for communication among patients, families, and healthcare professionals. These boards facilitate clear and concise information sharing, enhancing patient care and improving overall hospital efficiency. Keep reading to learn practical tips for maximizing the usage of patient whiteboards in hospitals.

Install In A Visible Spot

  • To maximize their effectiveness, it's crucial that patients and their families can easily read patient care boards. Some hospitals position these boards at the nursing station within direct sight of the patient's room, while others install them directly in each patient's room. This strategic placement ensures that critical information is always accessible.

Keep it Clear and Understandable.

  • Communication with patients should differ from communication with coworkers. Patients and their families need to understand the information on the patient whiteboards easily. Avoid medical jargon and abbreviations. 

For instance, instead of "PT," write "physical therapy," and instead of "CT," use "computed tomography scan." This ensures that the messages are clear and understandable.

Track All Important Information

  • Patient whiteboards should include essential information such as the room number, the patient’s preferred name, names of caregivers, patient goals, upcoming test appointments, lab schedules, procedures, and the anticipated discharge date. Additionally, the boards can list allergies, meal plans, preferred family contact, the current day and date, pain medication schedules, and hourly rounding times.

Tracking hourly rounding is crucial as it reassures patients and their families that regular checks are being conducted. The patientboard should be adaptable, allowing for the addition or removal of items to meet changing needs.

Attach a Dry Erase Marker to the Board

  • Small details can have a significant impact. According to a study cited by the National Library of Medicine, healthcare professionals often struggle to keep patient boards updated because they cannot find a dry-erase marker.

To encourage staff to utilize these boards effectively, ensure easy access to markers by attaching one directly to the board. This simple solution can streamline communication and promote consistent updates.

Request Patient Feedback

  • Gather feedback from patients and their families on the patient communication board. Since the board primarily serves them, their input is invaluable. Ask about their experience with the patient whiteboard. Did it address any concerns or anxiety? Was the information helpful and up-to-date?

Encourage suggestions for improvement and additions to enhance communication. By understanding their perspectives, healthcare providers can better tailor their efforts to enhance patient satisfaction.

Prioritize Timely Updates

  • Ensuring that the patient whiteboard reflects accurate and up-to-date information should be a top priority for caregivers. While it may seem time-consuming amidst other responsibilities, neglecting to update the board can have significant implications for patient care.

Other caregivers rely on information on the patient board to provide effective care. Any inaccuracies can lead to misunderstandings or delays in treatment. For instance, a change in a patient's dietary status may affect scheduled procedures, potentially prolonging their hospital stay. By recognizing the importance of timely updates, caregivers can contribute to enhanced patient safety, satisfaction, and overall quality of care.

Ensure Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

    • tips for using patient whiteboards
      Maintaining the cleanliness of patient whiteboards is essential for their effectiveness and longevity. Create a routine schedule for cleaning and maintenance to ensure that boards remain in optimal condition. Regularly wipe down the boards with disinfectant wipes to remove any dirt, grime, or bacteria buildup. 

Pay special attention to areas around writing surfaces and edges where dust and debris may accumulate. Inspect boards regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as fading markers or damaged surfaces. Replace markers or erasers as needed to ensure clear and legible communication.

Enhance your hospital's efficiency and hygiene with our state-of-the-art glass track patient boards. Made from durable tempered glass and designed for easy sanitation, our patient boards offer endless layout opportunities with interchangeable inserts. Call us at (973) 926-1600 to upgrade your facility today.


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