Digital Whiteboard Essentials

5 Design Considerations to Know Before Getting Started

Heather Wood, CPXP, VP, Clinical Innovation, eVideon

More and more hospitals are turning to digital whiteboards to take advantage of the many benefits of this cutting-edge technology. Digital whiteboards not only make it easier to communicate with patients and their loved ones, but they also benefit nurses and clinicians who simply don’t have the time to manually update dry erase boards during their busy shifts.

This technology is ever more critical as the recent Surgeon General Advisory sounds the alarm on healthcare worker burnout. This landmark report makes several recommendations to address burnout, one of which is to “reduce administrative burdens to help health workers have productive time with patients, communities, and colleagues.” As part of the recommendation, hospital systems need to ensure that health IT is interoperable, equitable, and designed with clinical workflow in mind. When done right, digital whiteboards can save nurses time, improve information access, enhance care coordination, engage patients and families in their care plan, and decrease the need for repeated documentation.

A successful digital whiteboard implementation requires proper research, planning, and execution – often involving multiple stakeholders and the support of trusted advisors. At eVideon, we are intimately familiar with the must-haves of a successful digital whiteboard deployment. We work with hospitals nationwide – large and small, rural and urban, VA Administration and public – to design custom solutions that meet the unique needs of each organization. Throughout this work, we have compiled best practices and recommendations that have helped our clients make complex decisions and we’re thrilled to share these tips with you to support your digital whiteboard project.

However, before you get started, I encourage you to consider the make-up of your project team. You’ll need representatives from multiple disciplines, including but not limited to patient experience, marketing, informatics, clinical, biomedical, information technology, executive leadership, and safety/quality staff. Each of these team members will provide invaluable input throughout and will contribute to the ultimate success of the project.

  1. Display Options – A key factor in success is where the boards fit inside of the room and where is the best location. Installing a separate display in the patient     room may not always be feasible due to space and/or budget limitations. The digital whiteboard can be a standalone display, or it can be displayed on the in-room footwall TV, as long as it’s a Smart TV. Patients can bring up a full-screen whiteboard with the touch of a button or can view information without exiting their show or movie. The board can also be a standalone display, separate from the TV console.
  2. Orientation – We suggest using a screen larger than 43-inches so information on the display is easy to read for diverse users. Landscape is the preferred orientation, although it takes up more wall space. A portrait mode television is a great alternative and fits best in a corner. This decision can vary from room to room based on space.
  3. Lighting – It’s important to consider the light emitted from the digital whiteboard. The digital whiteboard always remains on, and thus, if it is in the patient’s constant view, the light may be a distraction and could make it difficult for patients to sleep. Digital whiteboards have time adaption functionality and can be set to a daytime or nighttime mode, which features a darker background.
  4. RTLS Integration – With the use of RTLS, the digital whiteboard display can display different information based on the role of the individual wearing the RTLS badge. For example, when a Physician enters the patient room, the TV and/or movies can be muted or paused to display the full digital whiteboard on the footwall TV. Similarly, when a nurse enters the room, the digital whiteboard can display in part on the footwall TV, enabling the patient to continue to watch their show and/or movie while giving the nurse access to critical information on that patient. You can also customize the digital whiteboard to turn sections on or off as needed, sharing only certain areas of the whiteboard unit to unit or room to room.
  5. Custom Layout – You choose the information you wish to display on your whiteboards. The interface and modules are fully customizable to include your logo,     branding, and desired patient-facing information. We can customize the layout of information for your organization or specific units. This can include using patient-approved images to personalize the in-room experience, as well as images of the members of the care team to her foster communication and build trust. Daily care plan goals, the patient’s pain scale and management plan, medications, education planning, and DNR status may be displayed as well.

Now that you’ve made some of these decisions, you’ll want to communicate with your internal team members on a regular basis to ensure these decisions are aligning with the current workflows, as well as the needs of your patients. Buy-in from everyone who interacts with the technology is a critical step, especially when it comes to your nursing staff as the goal is to reduce their daily tasks and empower them to spend more time with patients at the bedside.

New technology is more than just a financial investment. It requires careful thought in order to truly deliver on its promise. Asking yourself the right questions can help ensure your success. The eVideon team can work with you to make these important decisions.

We’d love to talk with you about your digital whiteboard needs. Email me with questions or to learn more!  

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