The Importance of Auditing Hospital Whiteboards

May 30, 2019

hospital whiteboard


When was the last time you audited your facility's whiteboards? We're talking about studying the use and design of your hospital whiteboards to discover:

  1. Who is using them
  2. How they are being used (and how frequently)
  3. What patients and providers want when using whiteboards
  4. How you can better tailor your boards based on everyone's needs

Auditing patient room and nursing station whiteboards is important for facilities to do at least once a year because the results of the audit can reveal valuable insights. It can tell a facility what they need to change on their whiteboards and how those changes can help better serve their customers while making care teams more efficient.

How to Conduct a Whiteboard Audit

A proper whiteboard audit takes into account who is using the whiteboard and for what purposes. It involves surveying patients and hospital staff and using their responses to build a better whiteboard solution that benefits everyone. Since nurses and patients tend to be the most frequent users of whiteboards, they make the perfect focus for whiteboard audits. For staff members, audits can take the form of annual or bi-annual surveys. For patients, they can be quick, unobtrusive interviews conducted sometime over the course of their stay.

The Most Important Questions to Ask

When conducting a whiteboard audit, some of the questions that are helpful to ask include:

  1. How often do you refer to/use the whiteboards?
  2. Which information fields do you find most useful?
  3. Which information fields do you find to be least helpful?
  4. Is there any information you wish was included on the whiteboards?
  5. Does the whiteboard help you understand more about your patient/treatment?

After you have collected as much information as possible, you can use an online whiteboard builder to lay out, print and test your boards before implementation.

The idea of asking these types of questions is to tease out information that can help you revamp your whiteboards to make them more useful. That's the main benefit of custom whiteboards, their design and content can be custom-tailored to every facility. Consistent audits of how the boards are being used, and what patients want out of them, allows you to continue to tailor and change your whiteboards using data gathered from the people who use them the most.

Looking for more patient room whiteboard ideas? Read our comprehensive IdeaBook.