Patient bedside whiteboards are located near each bed. They are used by patients, families and our staff to ask and share information during a patient's hospital stay.

A patient and one of our staff updating the patient whiteboard

What is a patient bedside whiteboard?

Your patient bedside whiteboard is located near your bed and is there to:

  • help you (and the people who are who are important to you such as your family or carer) share information with the staff caring for you.
  • invite and remind staff to talk with you about what is important to you (and/ or your family and carer) and answer any questions you might have.

The patient bedside whiteboard does not replace:

  • our ‘usual’ communication we have with you, such as talking with you during ward rounds and giving you written information about your care
  • the medical record system

How is a patient bedside whiteboard used?

When you are admitted to a ward, the nurse will talk to you about the patient bedside whiteboard and ask your permission to use the whiteboard. Let us know if you would prefer not to use the whiteboard.

The patient bedside whiteboard will be updated (in discussion with you) at the change of shift between your nurses, during ward wounds and other times as needed.

We want you to be involved in decisions about your care

We will make sure that we respect your privacy by:

  • Not including sensitive information and checking that you are okay with what is written
  • Speaking in an appropriate volume when updating the patient bedside whiteboard

We want to invite you to tell us what matters to you

We want you to write on the patient bedside whiteboard to tell us what is important to you and what matters most to you.

For example, you may like to write:

  • You would like room temperature water in your jug not cold
  • You prefer your shower in the afternoons just before your visitors arrive
  • One of your goals is to be able to walk 50 metres so you can attend your niece’s 21st birthday party

We want to make sure we answer your questions

The people treating you may not always be available when your family or carer is here. We still want to be able to answer their questions. We encourage your family or carer to write down their questions so we can do our best to answer them.

For example, they may like to write:

  • Please let us know when the dietitian will come to visit mum as we have a few questions to ask
  • Mum’s hair hasn’t been washed for a few days - can you please do it tomorrow?
  • Can you assist dad with filling the menu form in as he has trouble with his arthritis?
  • Please call me when the TV people visit so I can order and pay for the TV for mum
  • Mum will be going home in three days but I am unable to pick her up and dad doesn’t drive anymore. Can you help arrange some transport?

For further information, please speak to the Nurse Unit Manager in your ward.