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Whiteboards in the Workplace: Hospitals

Tue Oct 21 2014
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.

A 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.
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