Archive for Tom Shaw

Whiteboards in the Workplace: Hospitals


Benefits of Hospital Whiteboards – The Specifics

According to one survey, 80% of nurses, house staff and attending’s agree that whiteboards play an important role in improving patient care, team work and communication.  In fact, communication errors contribute to 65% of all reported sentinel events within medical facilities.  Effective use of a whiteboard can result in an 80% increase in a patient or staff members willingness to read, a 73% increase in comprehension and a 35-50% decrease in interpretative errors.

Another recent study found that the number of patients who knew vital information such as the name of their physician, their goals for admission and estimated discharge date was significantly higher for the patients who received a whiteboard containing this information.

This makes sense considering that a research study that is published in the British Journal of Nursing shows that people only remember about 40 percent of what they hear; however, they can remember 70 percent of the written information they see.

study conducted by Farnan JM DO, Hinami K, Farnan and Arora VM offers startling results in relation to the hand-off communication between hospital staff. Professionals from 17 hospitals were surveyed to obtain startling results of this study.

Hand-off communications errors were documented as follows:

  • 13 percent were considered incomplete.
  • 16 percent involved a ‘near miss.’
  • 18 percent left uncertainty about the patient’s care plan during the transition day.

In that particular study, hands-off communication resulted in 47% unsatisfactory communication that resulted in uncertainty and left staff members open for potentially making costly or dangerous mistakes.  Having clearly labeled high-yield information on your whiteboard that is updated frequently is a proven method to improving patient satisfaction and eliminating these costly hands-off communication errors.

Cost Benefit of Implementing Whiteboards in the Hospital: Studies show that hospitals that have implemented whiteboards that are patient centered and not provider centered show improvements of 5% in overall institution in satisfaction and increased Press Ganey scores.

Specific Areas in a Hospital Environment Where Whiteboard Systems Can Help:

Patient Communication & Scheduling


Regularly scheduled and accurate patient updates offer patients’ better care with fewer errors; ultimately, whiteboards may be your hospital’s key to successful communication.  Whiteboards in patients’ rooms serve as a field-proven mean of communication easily accessed by both staff and family members. Important information concerning treatment schedules, daily goals, allergies, contact information, medication times, discharge information and care team members can be easily recorded and changed on a whiteboard. In addition, with a bedside whiteboard a patient’s fears are greatly decreased while staff communication is greatly increased. It is a win-win solution to a common problem.

Nursing Scheduling & Tracking Whiteboard Kits


Magnetic medical dry erase boards can add to the level of organization and efficiency of a hospital’s busy nursing staff. We understand that each hospital’s staff of nurses has its own system of organization. That’s why we offer to customize medical dry erase boards that relate to the different tasks and responsibilities of a medical staff. For instance, a hospital nursing staff may want to use a dry-erase board to keep track of the assignments for various nurses on a particular floor. We can design a board that includes category headings, room numbers and other pertinent information for a hospital nursing staff. We can even put the hospital’s colorful logo on a magnetic dry-erase board along with a watermark, message or a specific design. This adds to the professional appearance of this practical item. When we design a dry-erase board for a hospital, we leave plenty of space for the notations of nurses and other members of the medical staff. In addition, we offer brightly-colored magnets and dry-erase pens in a variety of colors that can help a nursing staff to create an even more efficient system.

Surgery and Emergency Room Scheduling & Tracking


Surgery & Emergency Room Scheduling boards allow staff to make instant scheduling changes with unique 2-sided write-on Magnets. The Dry Erase Magnets allow staff to easily write key procedure or patient data on them with dry-erase pens, simplifying and improving the staging process. Just turn the magnet over (write ID on the reverse side) and leave it on the board to show completed procedures. Separate magnets are included for support staff.

The board allows us to have all the information we need and only the information we need about a patient and the surgical team, posted where we can all see it, so decisions about the schedule can be made as the day unfolds. We can drop in emergencies and prioritize. The whole staging process is much more efficient when everyone can see what is going on and no resources are wasted.

OR Head Nurse – A Top 100 Hospital, Adventura, FL

Admissions & Bed Census Control


Tailor these whiteboard systems to show your exact up-to-the-minute bed and room status. Magnetic supply kit allows for customization and the ability to update the board quickly and efficiently.  Use the press-on die-cut plastic adhesive letter & number sets for room, bed and floor ID (or order them custom-printed on the board at no extra cost). Post patient data on the 1″ x 3″ magnetic cardholders, supplied in 5 colors to show service or your code (11 colors available), card inserts in pink and blue to show gender (10 colors available).

“It’s easier to use the board than it is to go into the computer system to get the information. I use the magnet circles to show isolation rooms and arrows to show transfers.”

Admissions Director – General Hospital, Los Angeles, CA

Why Hospitals Choose Magnatag

As a leading provider of hospital whiteboard systems for over 47 years, we offer whiteboards and create custom whiteboards that meet the specific needs of each client. Some companies offer brightwhite surfaces or printed magnetic steel whiteboards. These whiteboards often have a piece of printed plastic film laid over a steel sheet. These plastic film whiteboards do not withstand the wear and tear of daily use in the hospital. This is where Magnatag differs; we permanently heat-fuse the working surface with the color lines, images, lettering and black ink to ensure the longevity of our products. Our MagnaLux® working surface is virtually indestructible. It will not cut, bubble, fade, delaminate, ink bleed or become dull. Additionally, unlike plastic film working surfaces, with our porcelain-like steel working surface of MagnaLux®, there is no stubborn ink stain build-up to contend with. This ensures that information is easy to read and update.

Our clients continuously state that their Magnatag whiteboard is essential in improving their everyday organization, efficiency and communication.


Resources and Links:

5 Examples of Creative Business Cards



Simply put, it’s important to have business cards. Despite the fact that we’re living in a digital age where people are now connecting with each other on social networks like LinkedIn, business cards definitely still matter. Having business cards handy is just one great habit of many that highly successful business leaders have, and if you don’t have them already, then you’re missing out on big opportunities to not only market your business but also promote yourself.

There are so many different types of unique and creative business cards out there. It’s important to stand out from the competition, and you can do that by developing a design that is different and engaging and is something that recipients of your business card will truly remember. Not only does having a really creative design make you stand out, but it promotes you and your business in a way that shows your creativity, that you think outside of the box, and that you have a true knack for what it is you’re representing.

Creative design and a little imagination is sometimes all it takes. With that said, here are some types of creative business cards to help inspire a new card for you.

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How Whiteboards Help Caregivers Improve Patient Communication



Improving Patient-Staff Communication

A key benefit of the use of whiteboards within medical facilities is improving communication between the medical care team, the patient, and concerned family members.  In fact, communication errors contribute to 65% of all reported sentinel events within medical facilities. Dry-erase whiteboards in patients’ rooms serve as a field-proven mean of communication easily accessed by both staff and family members. Important information concerning treatment schedules, daily goals, allergies, contact information, medication times, discharge information and care team members can be easily recorded and changed on a whiteboard.  When the patient or family members have access to a whiteboard, communication is improved because a question is less likely to be overlooked or forgotten if a staff member is not immediately available to provide an answer.  The infographic and links provided below show the important role whiteboards have on not only improving communication but overall patient/staff satisfaction and Press Ganey scores.

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Safety Signs & Whiteboards — An Essential Tool in the Workplace


Safety is one of the highest priorities for manufacturers. An excellent safety record keeps costs and production disruptions low, helps prevent issues with OSHA and keeps employee morale high, but the most important reason to stay focused on safety is because it protects the company’s most important resource – its people.

Safety doesn’t just happen – it requires diligence and effort to ensure that safety stays top of mind despite the drive to deliver products quickly and cost effectively. One of the easiest ways to ensure that safety remains a high priority is to measure safety and to post safety records prominently where everyone can see them. Magnetic Whiteboards are a superb tool to address this need because of their flexibility and proven ability to boost safety awareness and improve the overall safety culture within an organization. Here are a few ways to use magnetic whiteboards to measure and improve safety records.

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Habits of Highly Successful Business Leaders


Photo by Maryland GovPics (Flickr)

Every single day that you head into work, you should always strive to be the very best that you can possibly be. Personally, I may not always have the greatest day (I’m sure we can all relate), but I always put my all into it, which is one lesson that my parents instilled in me from a young age. They taught me to always try my hardest and to give my absolute best effort. Since I was younger, it’s always been one of my stronger traits.

If you look at some of the greatest leaders out there in our history, there’s a reason why most of them reached the heights that they did and stood out from the rest of the pack. I’ve seen my fair share of strong, successful business leaders in my career and others that haven’t really lived up to their true potential. To be one of the best out there, there are multiple habits that one must adopt, and I want to share some of them with you here.

Here are a few habits of highly successful business leaders that you should consider incorporating into your daily routine.

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Using Whiteboards for Quality Improvement


We all make mistakes but what distinguishes industry leaders is their ability to identify root causes and make changes so that costly mistakes such as time and material waste don’t happen again.

Lean tools for quality improvement

If you work in a “Lean Manufacturing” environment you’re familiar with tools like “5S”, “Root Cause Analysis”, fish-bone diagrams, and the “5 Whys”. They’re all powerful tools for managing the workplace, helping you stay organized and preventing problems recurring. What we find a lot of companies struggle with though, is using them effectively.

The key is getting everyone involved. Sometimes we see an engineer or manager sitting alone at a desk trying to solve a quality problem, and that doesn’t work. Usually it takes multiple points of view, preferably from people who are intimately acquainted with the processes or systems.  Several managers and lean experts have stated that the biggest issue in quality control is simply a lack of communication.

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What Gets Measured Gets Done — Productivity Tracking in the Workplace


Accountability through transparency.

It takes a great team to make a business tick to its maximum potential – and if one particular wing of the company isn’t performing up to par, it’s the entire company that will suffer, which will absolutely be reflected in the bottom line.

In a manufacturing environment, you’re being relied on to produce products quickly without sacrificing quality. After all, when it comes to product development, time to market is crucial these days and the manufacturing step of the development cycle is the final, yet arguably the most important, part of promptly getting the product out the door and to the end user.

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Not Just For The Office – The Benefits of a Whiteboard at Home

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We have gone into great detail on here in the past about the many benefits there are to having whiteboards around the office. With all types of whiteboards, there are plenty of positive effects that they can have on your working environment. However, whiteboards aren’t just useful for the office: They’re also great to have inside the home. Personally, my family and I have benefited from having whiteboards in our home in more ways than one.

For our family, staying organized and keeping everything in order is of the utmost importance. Trust me, if you’re more organized, life is much more enjoyable. With that said, here are some ways that you can benefit from having whiteboards around your home.

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Benefits of Kanban Card Board Systems In the Workplace


Just in Time (JIT), Continuous Improvement (CI) and Six Sigma are all systems that improve manufacturing quality and cut inventory costs. While there are loads of computer systems that are compatible with how these systems work, for inventory control, many companies prefer much simpler, manual whiteboard and card holder systems known as a Kanban system. Even large plants that could implement complicated electronic systems are opting to implement simpler Kanban Card Board Systems because they are easier to setup and use.

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Whiteboards in the Workplace: Lean Manufacturing


Whiteboards in the Workplace: Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing has helped companies make major strides in productivity and efficiency by eliminating non-value added steps and streamlining business and production processes. Removing wasted time and effort in your operations can improve profits considerably.

Moving the heart of your decision making from the office to factory floor can reap several rewards. Sharing information with employees involved with day to day operations empowers them to make a difference.

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