How to Design Patient Room Boards for Effective Communication

Jun 23, 2017

ideas start here - where will yours end

When most people think of whiteboard design, they ultimately turn their focus towards color, imagery and all the other aesthetic features. While this is important to our team here at VividBoard – our patient whiteboards can be created with a large variety of customizable options that range from surface choices to frames and much more – we understand that the primary purpose of a patient whiteboard is to aid in communication. 

Our VividDesign team is here to help you design whiteboards that allow you to effectively communicate with your patients, increase how satisfied they are with their care and help them get better, faster.

If you are completely unsure of where to begin, you can contact our team at any time. Otherwise, here are a few tips to help you get started.

Choosing and Prioritizing Fields

Whiteboards can be placed in any area of your hospital. From delivery and maternity to pediatrics, internal medicine and surgery, your whiteboard can be designed with department-specific information that is relevant to the patients who will be interacting with them. 

Which information fields will be of most use depends on where the boards will be placed and what types of patients your staff treats. To see many of the common fields that hospitals choose, download our IdeaBook.

Use HCAHPS to Prioritize the Information You Display

In order to make your whiteboards the most effective communication boards possible, make sure that they contain fields that cover information patients need. More importantly, make sure they display the information most likely to appear on HCAHPS surveys.

These fields include: 

  • Care team information (communication with nurses and doctors make up 6 questions on HCAHPS)

  • Pain management (2 questions on HCAHPS surveys)

  • Information on medicines (2 questions on HCAHPS surveys)

  • Discharge information (2 questions on HCAHPS surveys) 

Make Sure Text is Legible 

Fonts are more than an aesthetic ways to present information. Many are specifically designed to make communication easier. Our team can help you choose a font that is pleasing to look at, easy to read and fits in with your hospital's brand.

When it comes to font size, find healthy balance. Font should be small enough so that the necessary fields can fit on the board and large enough so that the information can be read from up to 10 feet away.

Language Options 

If your hospital sees a lot of patients who do not speak English (or it’s not their first language), you have the option of displaying information fields in two different languages. If you choose our InHarmony Changeable Glassboards, you can even purchase several information cards written in different languages and change them out as needed.

When it comes to communication, visual images can also go a long way in facilitating patient understanding of the material. We have a large range of icons that you can choose from to represent your specific fields, or you can design your own.

We Are Here to Help

Our VividDesign team will work with you to create whiteboards that fit the needs of your staff and patients. To learn more about our different whiteboard styles, visit our products page. To learn more about effective whiteboard design, contact our team today.