Using Patient Room Whiteboards to Meet the Six Domains of Health Care Quality

Feb 27, 2020

patient board collage

Every business has a list of key performance indicators (KPIs) that act as guidelines and metrics for success. For hospitals, these KPIs take the form of patient health and satisfaction. The success of a medical facility hinges upon the health of their patients and how well they rate their stay (in the form of HCAHPS scores), which is why the healthcare industry has seen a major shift in focus favoring patient-centered care in recent years. The patient is now the center of most everything a facility does. From the decorations they choose to the design and layout of a facility, all the way to how nurses and care teams operate within a facility, everything revolves around providing the absolute best healthcare and customer service to the patient.

To measure the quality of healthcare, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has created an analytical framework that includes six areas of focus. These “Six Domains of Health Care Quality” are the foundational pillars that healthcare facilities can follow to increase the quality of their care. They include:

  • Safety of patients
  • Effectiveness of services
  • Patient-centered care
  • Timely service
  • Efficient use of time
  • Equitable care


These six domains align with the benefits provided by placing custom designed whiteboards in patient rooms. Research has shown that patient room whiteboards can improve HCAHPS scores by enhancing these six domains.

Increasing Patient Safety

Patient falls and hospital acquired infections are two of the largest patient safety concerns for hospitals, and using patient room whiteboards has helped reduce the risks of these events occurring across entire facilities. Custom whiteboard fields can alert staff of patient fall risks and allergies notifications, all while providing patients with a consistent reminder to call for assistance if they need to get up for any reason.

The materials used in high-end whiteboards (i.e. glass) are also non-porous and easy to clean, reducing the risk of bacteria growth in patient rooms. Read more about how whiteboards can promote patient safety in your facility.

Effective Service and Patient Centered Care

The increased communication and patient engagement provided by healthcare whiteboards serve as the primary drivers behind providing effective, patient-centered healthcare. Numerous studies and research have shown that whiteboards are an effective form of communicating with patients. They are not only used as a visual aid to inform and educate patients, they are also permanent fixtures in patient rooms that serve as constant sources of information, including treatment updates, goals and anything else patients want to know.

See how studies have revealed that whiteboards improve patient-centered care in the hospital.

Timely Service, Efficiency and Equitable Care

When patients receive timely service and care, and quick responses to their calls for assistance, they are far more likely to give high HCAHPS ratings. The problem many nurses face is that they are simply not able to be everywhere at once. This is due in part to inefficiency (often through no fault of their own). Whiteboards help nurses become more efficient when speaking with patients. As communication aids, they often help patients understand information more quickly. They also act as gentle reminders of meal and medication times, daily goals and many other pieces of information patients want to know. When patients are more informed on their care, they are less likely to call for nurses to ask them questions, allowing nurses to make fewer stops and attend to more patient requests throughout the day.

See how whiteboards can help care teams work together to become more efficient.


There are many ways to design a whiteboard that works for your facility. To see some of our many custom designs, and being working on a whiteboard of your own, visit our online whiteboard builder.

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