Surprising Results from the Use of Whiteboards in Hospitals

Tue Aug 11 2015
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.

The survey was conducted medical staff from the University of California hospital in San Francisco to identify the impact of whiteboards as a communication tool.

Summarized results included:
  • Nurses were more likely to use the whiteboards for “goal of the day” or “anticipated discharge date” information
  • Hospital operations believed that nurses and physicians should team up to create “goals of the day,” however, nurses should be responsible for the information on the whiteboard
  • Family contact information was the most important information to put on a whiteboard
  • All of the respondents believed that the use of whiteboards could improve teamwork, communication and patient care 

Recommendations from survey conductors:
  • Whiteboards should be put near a patient’s bedside
  • Create whiteboard templates
  • Nurses should write on and update whiteboards as needed

To learn more about the survey and results, visit view the variety of hospital whiteboards available through Magnatag Visible Systems, visit

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