Mar 04, 2021
Organization is essential for emergency departments who are faced with heavy influxes of patients, especially if it is short on staff. In order to stay organized and maintain a clear patient flow, hospitals can implement emergency room whiteboards that track patients as they move through the department. These custom whiteboards prominently display patient information and statuses to ER department nurses and physicians, making it easy for them to coordinate care and stay on top of every patient who is admitted.
In order to create a whiteboard solution that is specifically tailored towards patient flow in emergency departments, here are some essential information fields that should included.
Keeping track of patients begins with identifying who has been admitted. This information allows providers to neatly and efficiently organize those entering the emergency department, allowing them to dedicate staff and resources appropriately.
Note: keep in mind that emergency department whiteboards are kept out of view of the general public, meaning HIPAA will not be a concern for facilities.
Key pieces of patient information to include:
- Reason for their visit
- Names of family/friends who are in the waiting room
Where is the patient? How long have they been waiting? What are they waiting on next? These are all essential questions that will allow staff to track patients, stay on top of their care, and keep them moving through the department. Emergency rooms that are efficient not only see more patients in a timely manner, but they are also more likely to receive better patient satisfaction scores. In order to track patients throughout the emergency department, use these helpful information fields:
- Current room/bed number
- Triage level
- Time of arrival/admission
- Tests (are they awaiting imaging, labs, etc.) These fields can be broken into two parts, one for awaiting procedures and one for awaiting results
- Discharge status
Keeping track of patient treatment information on emergency department whiteboards reduces treatment errors. It also gives physicians and nurses a centralized place to quickly access information about patients. Some of the essential treatment information fields can include:
- Current diagnosis
- Assigned physician and nurse
- Any physicians who have been requested for consultations
- Treatment orders that have been placed (checks for medical records, family history, etc.)
- Any other important notes
Emergency rooms can also use whiteboards to keep track of staff schedules, current locations, and on-call doctors. They are also valuable tools when it comes to resource and materials management; they can be used to record shipments, inventory levels, and several other items that move throughout the facility. Whether the whiteboard is being used strictly to track admissions or to manage the entirety of the patient journey, having the right information fields can be a great help.
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