“HPNA has reviewed and
approved this product. While this Mark of Endorsement validates the
quality of the content of this product, the Hospice and Palliative Nurses
Association does not wish to confer medical advice.”
For Medicare or insurance claims use HCPCS Code E1902.
We are patient advocates on the issue of patient
communication and want to empower you with all the necessary resources to
help your organization achieve the best outcomes for your patients. Our
work stems from the core motivation that was drawn from one of our members'
nursing practice that observed two lung-transplant patients completely
withdraw over a period of a few months from being unable to communicate on a
ventilator. Without being able to write legibly or communicate effectively
using other means, their withdrawal became unrecoverable. This was before
the E|Z Board. From this discovery, we conducted a two-year
research study which allowed us to design a communication board that met the
needs of patients who could not speak. A research agenda was launched
throughout the healthcare community and multiple studies on an international
scale have examined the EZ Board and we have adapted the product to meet
ongoing research findings and patient preferences to the the board you see
BEST NURSING PRACTICE as described in Lindgren & Ames (2005), Henneman, Dracup, Ganz, Molayeme & Cooper (2001) & (2002) for mechanically ventilated patients can achieve decreased length of
ventilator days as well as decreased length of ICU stay by an average of 2.7
and 3.6 days, respectively. Multidisciplinary team collaboration that
incorporates effective communication with the patient is necessary for
achieving these stated outcomes. "Give the patient paper and pencil to
determine if handwriting is legible. Picture and alphabet boards can be
useful as well... one such tool is the EZ Board." The E|Z Board is distributed internationally and
sold through the AACN as the only research-based communication tool shown to
reduce frustration and improve patient satisfaction.
Our goal is to prevent this withdraw, to empower patients to participate
with their care, to empower and encourage nursing staff to be able to
achieve and maintain the same therapeutic relationships with patients who
cannot speak as they can with patients who can speak.
Following our research and implementation of the E|Z Board, we have learned
how providing the right communication tools to patients with communication
impairment can improve patient outcomes. Using communication boards
that are not research-based may discourage the practice of using
communication boards altogether. We encourage you to implement our EZ
Boards into your everyday patient care. By improving patient
satisfaction, improving patient outcomes we are certain your institution
will achieve cost-savings benefits that justify this change in practice.
We recommend the boards be stocked in
preoperative rooms for preoperative teaching, recovery rooms, ER's, ICU's,
rehabilitation units, head and neck suites, nursing homes, hospices and
general medicine units where there may be patients who are unable to
verbally communicate or cannot speak English. We also recommend the boards
be made available through your interpreter/translation department for
non-English speaking patients.
- Include communication boards as part of preoperative teaching package.
- Add "Communication needs addressed" as a
checklist items for preoperative teaching assessments.
- Add "Patient able to communicate effectively? Preferred communication
method?" on ICU Daily Round Sheets.
- Add "Patient communication board" on Physician admission order sets where
impaired communication is anticipated (e.g. cardiac surgeries, head and neck
surgeries, trauma, ICU's, etc.).
For the safety of your patient and
increased utilization of your EZ Boards, you may also want to invest in our
beside rail holder to allow for easy access and storage of your patient’s
communication board. Much like the call light, keeping this board within
reach empowers the patient and promotes autonomy. These holders are durable
and reusable. Please use our savings analysis (PDF) for a detailed summary and a sample calculation of how
implementing the E|Z Board into standard practice hospital wide can
save your hospital hundreds of thousands of dollars with reduced sedation,
length of ICU and hospital stay.