Understanding How Transparency and Communication Are Improving The Healthcare Experience

About a month ago, I found myself alone in the ER on a Saturday night after an unfortunate encounter between my middle finger and a potato peeler. In reality, my injury was minor in comparison to what you would expect from a typical Saturday in the ER—or so every major medical drama on TV would lead you to believe. I expected some form of orderly chaos, an environment that seemed controlled yet ready to burst with commotion any second. Much to my surprise, the unit felt nothing like that. The emergency room was quite, both the nurses and doctors that attended to my injuries were prepared, etc. Outsiders to the healthcare industry (like myself) are under the impression that there’s supposed to be gunshot wounds and burn victims, turmoil at every corner as nurses and doctors sprint down the hallways—it’s not supposed to be just some 24-year-old guy who doesn’t know how to properly peel a potato! There seemed to be an order to everything, nearly the exact opposite of what you’d see on Greys Anatomy, Scrubs or E.R. Curious to see if this amount of traffic was normal for a Saturday night, I asked my nurse if the ER was usually this quiet. She informed me that they were actually quite busy, with the night’s census being at an all-time high for the week. It wasn’t that this unit was completely devoid of chaos or trauma, but it was clear that staff members knew how to manage their workload properly.

I’ll be the first to attribute the controlled nature of this unit to the hospital’s strategic planning committee. After all, they’re the people that set together plans and strategies to help facilitate leadership, advocacy and quality thought the hospital. It is also worth noting that over the past couple years, a big talking point for the healthcare industry has been the call for greater transparency, which means a collection of different things for different people. For some, this means assuring the best quality care is being provided through referral services and partners, while others seek greater transparency between payers and providers. Accomplishing this satisfactory level of transparency across the board is only possible with the efforts of an entire organization; it has to be a collective effort. Continue reading Understanding How Transparency and Communication Are Improving The Healthcare Experience

Schedule With Simplicity: The Magnatag Difference

Here at Magnatag, we frequently receive hundreds of emails looking for a better way to optimize scheduling systems. Take this whiteboard below for example:Makeshift BoardWhile it may be messy at first glance, to members of the Nursing unit at a Washington, DC hospital, this whiteboard provided an innate degree of order to the hospital staff. Created using a plain whiteboard paired with some black industrial tape, the dry erase board was used as a room/patient assignment board that detailed which patients were assigned to specific rooms, as well as the nurses and doctors assigned to their case. We often receive requests from users of industrial tape when it comes to issues maintaining a dry erase surface. Unfortunately, using thick industrial-strength tapes on any whiteboard can often leave behind residue that can be difficult to remove, causing permanent damage to the surface. Adopters of industrial strength tape often come to us looking for a quick fix for this issue, however in most cases, the damage has already been done. Unfortunately, whiteboard cleaning and conditioning solutions are not developed to combat tape residue, which leaves us with our hands tied . It’s a problem that’s not only inconvenient, but downright avoidable—which makes it all the more frustrating.

Continue reading Schedule With Simplicity: The Magnatag Difference

Q&A With a Visual Systems Specialist: Tackling Healthcare Policy Reform Head-On

The healthcare industry is currently in the midst of a massive growth spurt, experiencing a period of extreme change. Part of that change involves a reform of industry-wide culture, placing more importance on standardization and communication. We recently spoke with Linda, the manager of our sales team and loyal Magnatag employee of 31 years, to get insight into the efforts that some healthcare facilities are taking as they progress further into this new shift in healthcare reform.

Out of all of our healthcare products, our OR surgery schedule is constantly topping our sales charts. Any idea as to why this is the case?

It’s become so popular in recent years because all the information you could ever need is readily available. It gives both nurses and doctors the opportunity to quickly look at the board and get a sense of what is going on. When everyone on a unit knows when surgeries are occurring and who’s responsible for a particular patient, it keeps things moving at an even pace and really organized—something that I’ve heard an increased demand for from healthcare professionals in recently.

Are there any issues healthcare facilities are attempting to solve with the help of this product?

Most people that come to us for help are looking for a simple method to inform everyone on the status of the facility. The thing that people really like about our boards in particular, is that they’re easy to use. So a patient can switch rooms at a moments notice, but regardless of where they are getting moved to, someone can easily reflect that transfer in real time on the board itself. Continue reading Q&A With a Visual Systems Specialist: Tackling Healthcare Policy Reform Head-On

Giving Nurses A Voice

This week we’re celebrating National Nurses Week by taking time to thank nurses for their commitment and dedication to the healthcare industry. In a time where nursing salaries are fractions of what professional athletes make, it is important we acknowledge their countless hours of grinding around the clock for the sake and safety of others.

This week, we gave nurses an opportunity to speak their minds. Here’s what they had to say:

Some Wanted To Talk About Improvements

“Today we had a mandatory meeting about what it takes to practice as a nurse safely. One of the big points that we touched on was the concept of teamwork and how that relates to our relationship with patients. There was a lot of talk about how in order to provide the best possible care for a patient, there needs to be teamwork or a group of collaborative minds that can work on uncommon and challenging situations—and that’s absolutely, positively, 100% true. You almost have to be philosophical about it in a sense; with shift changes occurring regularly, it’s never just you and a patient. You have to be willing to take a step back and say ‘you know what? I’m one of several people that contributed to the care-taking of this patient.’ It’s easy to get bogged down by the little things, but nursing really is a team effort, and I sometimes forget that myself.

Continue reading Giving Nurses A Voice

Five Reasons Nurses Should Use Whiteboards

The following is a guest post by Lindsay Wilcox of RNNetwork.

You have one in each patient’s room and probably use at least one at the nurse station or in the break room. That’s right; it’s a nursing whiteboard, and it can help you greatly improve your communication with your patients and the nurses and physicians you work with. Here are five reasons to start using them more.

Medical nurse showing blank sign

You can help your patient feel more comfortable

Right as you begin a new shift and start meeting your patients, go into their rooms, introduce yourself and write your name on the whiteboard by their beds. This helps them to remember your name and call for you when they need help, but it’s also a great way to be friendly and help them see you as an advocate who will help take care of them.

Continue reading Five Reasons Nurses Should Use Whiteboards

Five Ways Nurses can Communicate Better with Doctors

The following is a guest post by Lindsay Wilcox of RNNetwork.

Lack of communication between hospital physicians and primary care providers leads to a higher risk of readmissions and poor care coordination once patients are discharged, according to a recent Fierce Healthcare article — and effective communication between physicians and nurses is just as important.

Here are some ways to improve your dialogue with the doctors you work with, especially as a travel nurse:

Be confident. Never begin a conversation with a doctor by apologizing for calling her. It’ll only make her more annoyed to take the call and make you more flustered as you try to explain the situation. Instead, identify yourself, say why you are calling and get right to the point. You’ll gain the doctor’s trust and avoid wasting time or giving the impression that you’re unsure of yourself.


Continue reading Five Ways Nurses can Communicate Better with Doctors

How Bedside Boards Are Improving Patient Satisfaction

Patient bedside boards are the latest trend when it comes to transforming care at the bedside. Magnatag has spent time researching the many benefits that bedside boards offer to patients and their caregivers across the globe. Check out the infographic below to see just how integral patient bedside boards are to the healthcare industry today!

Continue reading How Bedside Boards Are Improving Patient Satisfaction

Study: How Whiteboards Helped the Lehigh Valley Health Network

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailThis morning, I stumbled across this great study by nurses from the Lehigh Valley Health Network, who implemented communication whiteboards to see if the tools would improve patient communication. Continue reading Study: How Whiteboards Helped the Lehigh Valley Health Network

Surprising Results from the Use of Whiteboards in Hospitals


The Journal of Hospital Medicine’s, “Patient Whiteboards as a Communication Tool in the Hospital Setting: A Survey of Practices and Recommendations” is a very interesting study for anyone working or interested in the medical field. Communication is important in every field, but especially crucial in the medical field and that’s why I thought it was a significant study to share. Continue reading Surprising Results from the Use of Whiteboards in Hospitals

UNC Health Care Utilizes Magnatag for Six Sigma Projects


In the healthcare industry, employees are constantly seeking ways to continuously improve and increase the quality and safety of a facility. UNC Health Care, awarded 19 times for its leadership in quality and safety, came to Magnatag for products to implement its recent lean six-sigma projects in its OB/GYN department. Continue reading UNC Health Care Utilizes Magnatag for Six Sigma Projects