Optimal Placement of Whiteboards in Patient Rooms

Jun 17, 2019

patient room whiteboard placement

Designing the right custom whiteboard is not the only factor that plays into how effective it will be in a facility. Whiteboard placement within a patient’s room also plays a large role in its effectiveness. Where should whiteboards be placed in patient rooms? There are a few factors to consider.

Whiteboard Placement in Patient Rooms 

Patient room whiteboards should be located on the wall where patients can clearly see and interact with them. This is also why font size is important when designing your whiteboard. Studies have been conducted as to the legibility of font sizes relative to the distance they are being viewed from. You can see a helpful chart detailing these distances here. If the whiteboard will be placed 10 feet (3 meters) from the patient’s bed, the font size should be at least 25 pt. (about 33-34 px.).

The second consideration to make is viewability from outside the room. While it is not a violation of HIPAA to place information on whiteboards when it’s within a patient room, it’s still courteous to patients to place whiteboards in an area (if possible) where they cannot be viewed by someone walking by or standing in the hallway.

Finally, whiteboards should be easily accessible to nurses and physicians in order to encourage them to use them. If they are placed on a wall that has equipment or other obstacles in front of it, care teams will be less likely to use them during treatment.

Finding the Right Height for Patient Room Whiteboards

This depends on the height of the ceilings in your facility and how tall your whiteboard is. It doesn’t always make sense to hang a board at the midpoint between the floor and the ceiling (this may make the board too high for many people to reach). Keep in mind that although the guidelines outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) do not include whiteboards, bulletin boards, etc. like they do for other types of signage, you still want to ensure that your whiteboards are accessible to people in wheelchairs. Some patients who will be using and interacting with the whiteboards will be confined to a wheelchair when moving about their room.

As a general rule of thumb, the whiteboard should be placed at a height that puts it in direct eyesight of a patient who is sitting up in bed. That way, they won’t have to strain their neck in either direction to see the information on the board.

Uniformity Has its Benefits 

If all or most of your patient rooms are the same size, shape and orientation, placing the whiteboard in the same spot in every room will create a professional, uniform look throughout your entire facility. It also makes whiteboards easier to locate and use for care teams as they will always know where in a room to find them.

Custom Whiteboards for Your Facility

When you choose to purchase custom whiteboards for your facility, you can choose to make them any size, shape or color you need. This gives you plenty of options when considering where to place them in a patient’s room. To learn more about the customization options available, contact VividBoard today.