Aims The current ward round model where multidiscipline team members document plans separately in different sets of documentation and parents rely on memory recall can result in miscommunication and lack of clarity for patients and carers.
Using quality improvement methodology, we tested a whiteboard in the patient’s bed space or cubicle as a tool to improve communication of ward round plans. Driven by ward nurses, at each ward round the team, patient and parents would gather around the board and a written plan constructed. Patients and carers were invited to write on the board.
Methods A test of change was carried out over two weeks in a mixed specialty ward in a children’s hospital. Qualitative and quantitative measures of use, acceptability and culture was collected using semi-structure interviews of staff, carers and patients by a medical student. Usage data was collected by daily direct observation.
Results Staff and patients all reported improved communication. Boards were updated twice daily. Non-use occurred on two occasions when nursing staff was absent from the round and when the pen was missing. There was high patient and parent engagement with the visible plan.
Conclusion This simple and low cost tool improved communication of care plans. There was visible culture change with improved patient engagement and involvement of all multidiscipline team members. There has been sustained usage and spread within our hospital.