Mar 16, 2021
Patient room whiteboards are a valuable tool for treating and engaging with patients, but they are useless if patients don’t interact with them. There’s no sense in placing a whiteboard in a patient room if it’s going to become lost among all the other furniture, art, and medical devices. That’s why custom whiteboard design is so important. It enables the creation of highly attractive whiteboards that patients will notice and use.
Make your patient room whiteboards stand out with these design tips.
Color adds two things to a whiteboard., First, it makes the whiteboard more noticeable and attractive. Second, it plays a role in how legible the font will be. Some colored fonts are difficult to read, some can be completely illegible when placed on top of another color. It’s important to carefully consider the colors used in both the background and the font on the whiteboard. You can strike a good balance between bright, attractive colors and colors that make fonts easy to read.
1. Some color combinations to avoid include:
2. Bright colors (orange, yellow, etc.) placed on top of a pure white background.
3. Yellow, purple, or light green placed on top of a solid green background.
4. Red, blue, or purple text on a black background.
5. Colorful fonts on a patterned background. If the background will have a pattern, use a colorful text box over it. This will allow you to better control the color that the font will be placed on.
6. Yellow, blue, and shades of red on a red background.
7. Font placed on a background with the same color gradient. Be careful with gradients.
In general, a black font is recommended because it is usually the easiest to read. When combining colors, make sure they complement one another well while also making fonts easy to read from far away. To see some color combinations that work well with one another, take a look at our image gallery. You can also try some color combinations of your own by using our Board Builder tool.
Engagement can be a challenge for some facilities. It can be difficult to get patients to refer to the whiteboard and interact with it on a daily basis. Some patients notice it when they enter a room only to quickly forget about it later on. While nurses and other providers can call attention to the whiteboard while they are in the room, patients can easily forget about its presence when left alone. The most effective whiteboards stand out and can capture the attention of patients. Some design tricks that can help whiteboards be noticed include:
- Using bright colors and imagery to help the board stand out
- Make the “Patient Name” field slightly larger than the other information fields. Write the patient’s name in large letters. Patients are more likely to notice the whiteboard if their name is the most noticeable thing on its surface.
- Don’t make the font too small. Most whiteboards in patient rooms are placed about 10 feet away from the patient’s bed. Make sure the font is sized appropriately so that it is readable at this distance.
Too much text on a whiteboard can be intrusive and feel like a chore to read. At the same time, providing too little information makes the whiteboard seem too simple and not helpful for patients. It’s not only the amount of information provided that counts, but the type of information. Custom whiteboards allow you to choose the information that is included on the board, so use this to your advantage when selecting information fields.
What information is most helpful to patients? While there are some essential fields for any department, the best thing a facility can do is ask patients what is most helpful for them to know during their stay. Conducting a “whiteboard audit” means asking the right questions. Learn more about the types of questions you can ask your patients here.
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