Whiteboards are commonly used in hospital wards. Traditionally, they are used to record information about the ward’s patients, located near the ward clerk’s desk. 

 Traditional boards however come with several problems; including:   

  • Legibility (handwritten, pens designed to be erased); 
  • Accuracy (transcribed from paper and electronic data systems); 
  • Relevance (they must be written/erased as patents enter or leave); and
  • Access (they can only be viewed by standing physically in front of them). 

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board staff have created a new bespoke e-Whiteboard that is transforming the ward experience for its staff and patients. To help progress the e-whiteboards, the Accelerate Programme (a partnership led by the Life Sciences Hub with Cardiff University, Swansea University and University Trinity St David) are supporting our staff to refine and develop the system.

Dr Tom Powell, Innovation Lead for Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board is presenting on this project today (5 February) at Collaborate 2020 . 

 A digital whiteboard – how it works 

The digital whiteboard draws in patient information from hospital data systems, as well as manually inputted live ward data. It displays the information on a large TV screen in place of the traditional whiteboards. 

Unlike the use of traditional notes (where patient information is written up at the start of every day), the new, digital system factors in a drag and drop approach, allowing staff to access the system remotely and drop patients (and all their information) into digital beds that reflect a real-time view of the ward and its layout. Not only that, but a series of smart symbols and icons let staff know – at a glance  – the status of a patients’ care, and various facts about them and their condition.

Dr Tom Powell said: 

“This IT application has enormous potential. It is a rapid way for staff to get vital information from wherever they are. At a glance, colleagues can see particular issues that a patient might need additional care with, such as IV fluids, a special diet or condition, giving them the confidence, and competence, to deliver safe and effective care. It is having a huge impact on how our multi-disciplinary teams communicate.”

Highlighting potential for future improvement he added: 

“The current version has received widespread approval, although it is a working prototype and there are many additional features and improvements possible, including functionality and wider clinical capability across our health board.  We are investigating many of the possibilities with our Accelerate colleagues to ensure the system has maximum impact on time and efficiency savings. “

For further information

Contact: Karen Winder, Assistant director of informatics, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, [email protected]

Transforming ward experience for NHS staff and patients at Cwm Taf Morgannwg through e-whiteboards