How a whiteboard factors into a new patient communication model

Saint Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., recently launched TeamBirth, a national model that works to improve provider-patient communication in labor and delivery departments. 

One of TeamBirth's tools is a whiteboard in labor and delivery rooms with constant updates of a patient's care plan, according to a Sept. 19 news release from the hospital. The care model is designed to improve provider-patient communication and support shared decision-making.

Pamela Harmon, DNP, MSN, director of the Women and Children's Division at Saint Peter's University Hospital and administrative director of the Mary V. O'Shea Birth Center at Saint Peter's University Hospital, said TeamBirth has received positive feedback since its launch.

The whiteboard lists the patient, nurse and provider as care team members with equal value in decision-making; presents clinical data alongside a patient's preferences and subjective experiences; and confirms shared expectations. 

"This simple visual ensures that there is clear communication and shared decision-making across all participants during every phase of the birthing process," Dr. Harmon said in the release.

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