Essential Communication Fields for Long-Term Care Whiteboards

Feb 01, 2021

st joseph hospital whiteboard

Long-term care facilities—from assisted living to memory care— across the country are implementing custom whiteboards into their patient rooms and common areas. These whiteboards are helping providers better communicate with patients, enhancing treatment and providing added value, and creating a better environment where patients feel more informed and better cared for. 

Since the information on these whiteboards can be customized, the communication fields can be altered based on the type of facility they are being placed in, the patients that are being treated there, and where in the facility they are being placed. 

When thinking about whiteboards for long-term care facilities, these are some of the most useful communication fields to include in order to provide the best information to patients and providers.


Patient Information 

Whiteboards in long-term care facilities are most often used by providers. They serve as permanent reminders of vital patient information that never leaves a patient’s room. A variety of information can be written on the board, including: 

  • Patient allergies (food, medicine, etc.)
  • Patient fall risk levels
  • Specific requests and needs of the patient
  • Patient likes and dislikes

HIPAA note: so long as the whiteboard is placed within the patient’s room, whiteboards containing patient information are generally considered HIPAA compliant. 

Memory care environments can even use the whiteboards to display basic information about the patient, including their name, their family’s name, etc. This is especially helpful for patients who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer's and other conditions that inhibit memory and cognition. 


Warnings and Reminders

Patients and their visitors will be frequently interacting with whiteboards that are conveniently placed within patient rooms. This makes them the perfect place to display warnings, reminders, and other information, including:  

  • Whom can be called when assistance is needed
  • Reminders to ask for assistance using the bathroom, getting dressed, etc.
  • Reminder to wash hands upon entering and exiting a room
  • Warnings of fall risks by doing certain activities


Motivational Goals

Many patients staying in long-term care facilities have daily goals. Those placed in permanent facilities often need motivation to maintain a healthy mindset and stay physically and mentally fit. Patient room whiteboards can be used to display:

  • Individual goals (bathe or dress oneself, regain movement or speech, etc.)
  • Motivational quotes, helpful tips, etc.
  • A specific short-term accomplishment or “goal of the day”
  • Notes from family, friends and other visitors


Schedules and Events

Whiteboards can help patients keep track of upcoming events in their care plan. This can be particularly helpful in memory care environments, where many patients feel comfort in recalling what is happening next in their day. Whiteboards can keep track of schedules that include:

  • Medication times
  • Appointment/treatment times
  • Meals
  • Visitation hours
  • Tests and procedures


Customization is Key

What fits best on a whiteboard depends on the long-term care facility and its patients, which is why whiteboard customization is so important for healthcare fields. Customization allows facilities to maximize the impact of their whiteboards and make their patients more comfortable. No two patients are alike, but giving providers a customized communication aid will help them provide the best treatment and service possible. When working to design a whiteboard that is right for your facility, incorporating feedback from patients, family members, physicians, and nurses will give you best idea of which specific communication fields to include. 

What does your facility require on its whiteboard? Let our patient communication experts be your guide! Get in touch with us today to start planning your whiteboard solution.