Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

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3 Common Mistakes When Designing White Boards for Patient Rooms

Monday, April 13th, 2015

White boards and glass dry erase boards are becoming increasingly more common in healthcare facilities. They allow patients and staff to communicate quickly and easily, and encourages the sharing of important information among medical professionals. New types of custom dry erase boards are being offered to healthcare facilities. You can design these dry erase boards to have many functions including customized patient information, hospital branding, and beautiful artwork. Many facilities are realizing the benefits of doing so. These white boards go beyond the large, non-sustainable, ghosting and bacteria harboring boards of the past. If you’re considering designing white boards for your facility’s patient rooms, there are a few things you should keep in mind to keep from making these three common mistakes.

1) Not Planning Ahead for Potential Changes

When you design the boards that will hang in patient rooms, you’ll probably include space for things like the room information and patient care notes. Be sure, however, to plan ahead for potential changes that your facility will go through in the future. For instance, if you eventually want to have space for patients to display cards or thoughtful notes from family members, you’ll need to plan accordingly in the board design process. If you’re planning on designing boards to have only enough space for the absolutely essential information with little room for anything else that may come up, you may regret this decision in the future. Design a dry erase board that offers enough room for writing down anything you might want to share between patients and staff, as well as among staff members.

2) Choosing a Material/Surface that is Not Durable or Is Prone to Staining

If you’re keeping to a budget, but also need a lot a of white boards, you may be tempted to purchase traditional white boards that are a little less expensive in the interest of saving some money. Unfortunately, with lower quality materials and surfaces, you run the risk of the marker staining the board or “ghosting”—leaving behind slightly visible remnants of older messages. This can be not only unsightly, but also dangerous if information is misread. Consider your custom white boards as an important investment. Spend a little extra on glass dry erase boards now, and you’ll reap the benefits for many years to come. Glass dry erase boards are designed to last up to 50 years, so your investment now will more than pay for itself.

3) Choosing a Material That Isn’t Bacteria-Resistant

When installing dry erase boards in health care facilities, disease prevention and cleanliness is key. Choosing white boards that are made of materials that are hard to clean, have frames where bacteria can get caught, or are porous could lead to having less than ideal sanitary conditions. In order to maintain a high level of sanitation within each patient room, low-maintenance, bacteria-resistant, frameless dry erase boards are preferable. Don’t skimp when it comes to patients’ health—choose a glass dry erase board that is stress-free and easy to clean.

When you implement dry erase boards in patient rooms, you’ll notice a significant improvement in communication. Just make sure you think ahead for things you might want from the boards in the future, plan for durability, and make sure they are satisfactory for patients.

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Top 5 Reasons White Boards are Vital In Patient Rooms

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

In the realm of healthcare, the more communication available for staff to have with each other as well as between staff and patients, the better. With so much information being presented to patients, multiple doctors and nurses, it’s important to have a way to keep track of all a patient’s information, not only for safety but for the patient’s peace of mind as well. Check out these five reasons why white boards are a vital component in a healthcare facility’s patient rooms.

1) Updates on Patient Status Available at a Glance

Patients deserve to be privy to any new information about their health or status. Whether they have new tests or doctor appointments coming up, discharge dates, pain levels or any other important  information, these specifics can easily be posted on white boards which makes it easy to see what is going on at a glance. This is especially helpful in instances when the patient is asleep or out of the room—when information is written on the white board, it’s visible for the patient to view at any time.

2) Goals and Plan Of Care Focus

Each hospital unit has patients that are dealing with their own unique situation. With white boards available to staff in each patient room, key goals and plan of care focus can be written out and visible to the patient and family members. For instance, in an obstetric ward, a focus may be “help with breastfeeding,” or in a surgical recovery ward, things like “pain management” or “wound care” may be what the staff writes down for everyone to focus on. Allowing for personalized communication means better care as well as better morale for the patient, because they know that the staff is well-informed and involved with his or her recovery.

3) Patients Can Personalize Their Space

When patients have glass magnetic white boards in their rooms, they have the option to display personal items, such as photos of family or friends or a thoughtful note. Though small, these comforts can help soothe and boost a patient’s spirits during their stay in the facility.

4) Helps Patients Remember Information

Patients generally don’t memorize small details about their stay like their room number, floor number, or room phone number. The white board in each room allows for quick and easy access to vital information about their stay.

5) Patient Satisfaction Is In Focus

When each patient’s room has a white board, patient satisfaction is at the forefront of everyone’s day. When glass dry erase boards can be updated with new information, staff has an at-a-glance view of what needs to be done with each patient. This also empowers the patient, allowing them to stay informed about care and recovery. Additionally, appointments with doctors or specialists can be listed on the white board, so that they are not forgotten.

Utilizing glass dry erase boards within patient rooms in healthcare facilities not only improves communication between patients and staff members , but it also puts an emphasis on patient satisfaction, staff initiatives and improving HCAHPS scores. If you’ve been considering implementing dry erase boards in your facility’s patient rooms, the benefits of empowering patients and staff with knowledge can make all the difference.

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Improving Patient-Staff Communications With the Use of White Boards

Friday, February 13th, 2015

When you or someone you love has to spend time in a hospital or other healthcare facility, the time there can be unnerving and overwhelming, particularly if there isn’t great communication between the staff and patient about the direction of care. Add in multiple doctors and nurses, and things can become downright scary for many people, as they feel they don’t know what’s going on and have no control over their situation. Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate this fear and the uncertainty of being in a healthcare facility without thorough communication. One such technique is to use whiteboards or glass boards in each room, so that the patient knows what is going on and the staff can also communicate with one another.

Put Nurses and Medical Staff Closer to the Patient

Placing white boards in each room can help patient-staff communication by allowing nurses and other medical professionals to leave notes regarding the course of care and even personal notes to the patient. Medical staff are always busy, and if a patient is sleeping during a room visit, the nurse or doctor can write on the whiteboard if there are any updates or plans for tests, for example. Other times, nurses can write down when they visited if the patient was asleep, and when they will visit next, so that when the patient wakes up, they know what to expect and when they will be checked on again.

Ensure Medical Staff Are on the Same Page

Another avenue for promoting good communications is using whiteboards in each patient room as this gives staff an easy method to communicate with one another. Because multiple staff members work with any given patient, and the course of care can change at any time, in addition to things being noted on a patient’s chart, staff may choose to leave notes to other employees of things that should be noticed—things like a change in mealtimes, for instance.

Add a Personal Touch to the Care You Offer

It’s a given that no one really enjoys being in a healthcare facility as a patient, so looking for ways to ease the stress of the situation can be key to keeping everyone in good spirits. Many people use whiteboards in healthcare facilities is to inject a bit of humor or friendliness into everyone’s day—little drawings, jokes, even simple greetings can brighten up a patient’s day. And because whiteboards can be customized with the healthcare facility’s name and logo, patients will connect the positive experience of their stay with the manner in which they were treated and communicated with while there. Hospital stays may not always be the most pleasant experience of one’s life, but there are ways to ease the stress of it—showing compassion and personable bedside manner are just one way.

Learn more about whiteboards in healthcare facilities today, and find out of they’re right for your facility.

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