Get to know your patients—not just their charts

How UCLA Medical Center uses posters to connect with patients

Patient personalization posters

Caregivers often struggle to see past a patient’s condition and actually relate to the person in the bed. One reason is that they may not know anything about the individual beyond their clinical presentation. This lack of knowledge puts distance between nurse and patient, and harms the patient experience.

One simple, low-cost way to help caregivers connect with their patients is Patient Personalization Posters. These posters, used by a handful of organizations across the country, allow the patient to share non-clinical information about their lives to "introduce" themselves to their caregivers.

Create your own posters

Posters carry the patient's story

Though template design for Patient Personalization Posters varies by facility, all posters include space for patients and their families to record information about the patient’s life outside the hospital. Sample prompts include:

  • Patient’s nickname
  • Patient’s hobbies
  • Names of immediate family members or friends
  • Patient’s favorite color or sports team
  • Non-clinical goals following discharge (ex. to travel to Spain, or to play a round of golf)

Posters are given to the patient or family at admission. A nurse or other caregiver may help the patient fill out the poster, or it may be provided to family members as a waiting room activity. Patient Personalization Posters are appropriate for all patients, even those with a relatively short length of stay.

Once completed, the Patient Personalization Poster is placed in a prominent location at the bedside, where all caregivers will see upon entering the room. The poster travels with the patient throughout the patient’s entire inpatient stay. This ensures all caregivers are able to interact with the patient on a more personal level—and the patient and family don’t have to tell their story again at every handoff.

Poster impact on the patient experience

Although Patient Personalization Posters are simple, they can make an outsized impact on the patient experience. UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles saw their scores for "patient confidence and trust in nurses" rise from the 19th percentile to the 99th following implementation of the posters. Hear their story.

St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb. has seen similar success after implementing Patient Personalization Posters, sustaining overall likelihood to recommend scores in the upper 80s and 90s for the past three years.

Want to learn more?

Get additional implementation guidance with The Patient Experience Toolkit, and learn 19 best practices for a holistic patient experience strategy in our study, Enhancing the Patient Experience.

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Enhancing the Patient Experience