Whiteboards continue to be an important tool for effective patient communication in health care environments. However, some doctors and nurses get confused with all that white space; what exactly should be written on a patient’s whiteboard?
Deborah Gesensway discusses in her article in Today’s Hospitalist that while some issues, such as disappearing dry erase markers, have simple solutions, a survey found other problems that need to be addressed to ensure the most effective patient communications. The biggest hindrance in using whiteboards effectively was determined to be not knowing what to write on them, she says. Make sure to have a simple template that keeps all parties involved – patients too! Charts on the whiteboard, for example, are a simple way to keep things easily understood.
Including patient-specific information allows for patients to stay involved in the care they are receiving, Gesensway writes. Whiteboards should explain what patients want to know, rather than just a copy/paste of what doctors and nurses are telling them.
She advises that a good way to keep up involvement is for a patients to write their own daily goals, which can lead to discussions between patients and health care providers.
Like many whiteboard users would agree, having too much information written down can do more harm than good. Keep the template simple: “day and date; patient name (or initials); name of bedside nurse; name of primary physician; goal of the day; anticipated discharge date; family members’ contact information; and a space for patients or families to write questions.”
For more on Gesensway’s ideas on hospitals using whiteboards to enhance patient communications, see her blog here.
Having patient room whiteboards with an easy-to-understand custom-designed template can be easy; EverWhite offers custom designed whiteboards to bridge the communication gap. The design is printed under the surface, making the writing surface completely smooth. EVERWhite guarantees the surface will not stain. Talk with one of our customer service representatives to enhance your health care facility patient communications. See examples of patient room and health care whiteboards we’ve created. Or call 800-335-7319 to get started on your health care whiteboards.
Jim Muth is general manager of EVERWhite, a US manufacturer and seller of whiteboards and tack boards used for teaching, coaching, planning, collaboration and tracking. Along with his expertise in the use of whiteboards, Jim excels in leadership, new product development, business operations, lean manufacturing, continuous improvement and product marketing. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Industrial Technology, with a focus on Product Development and Design, from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.