The use of digital whiteboards has saved 5,000 hours of nurse’s time per year at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Since they were installed in 2017 as a way of improving patient safety and care, the whiteboards have reduced the time taken for ward staff to locate risk scores by 88.5% by giving staff and clinicians a clearer idea of a patient’s movements through the hospital.

The bespoke whiteboards provide a wide range of real-time patient information including a colour coded display that indicates if patients are vulnerable to falls; pressure skin damage; and if they have specialist nutrition needs.

The colour coding allows staff entering the ward to quickly and easily prioritise patient care.

Alongside the visual alerts, the whiteboards also display the patients estimated date of discharge.

Dr Rob Allcock, CCIO at the trust, said: “Real time, accurate, tracking ensures robust management of cross-infections, and enables us to provide wards with information on their individual patient flow patterns and identify opportunities to eliminate non-illness related delays in discharge.

“Discharge of patients is also expedited in other ways. For example, referral to physiotherapy is coordinated by simply updating the whiteboard status, removing paperwork and delays.”

Andrea Adams, digital transformation programme lead, added: “As the Trust is a GDE Fast Follower, this is just one of many digital projects taking place.

“The digital whiteboards link together with a number of other projects to bring real digital transformation to support clinicians in providing the best possible patient care.”

Digital whiteboards are proving a popular way to display patient information.

Barnsley Hospital recently developed their ProWard digital whiteboard, which provides a single point of access for patient care information.

It will be used along side the SAFER patient flow bundle used at the hospital – a best practice process for early and safe discharges.

Interactive whiteboards have also been introduced at Southampton General Hospital.

The touchscreen technology displays information taken directly from a patient’s electronic record, including clinical alerts such as existing medical conditions, length of admission and predicted discharge date.

It also acts as a tracking system to identify what is preventing discharge when patients are medically fit to leave hospital.