Signs on exam room doors create immediate awareness that a sensitive case is present.
The main facility where I used to work contained eight exam rooms—four on either side of our major employee hallway. This hallway was a constant source of foot traffic: doctors giving orders, technicians filling prescriptions, and receptionists answering phones. So the hallway easily became chaotic. We reminded everyone that the doors were not a noise barrier and that clients waiting inside exam rooms could hear what was said or done in the hallway.
But we took an extra step for euthanasias and other sensitive cases. We printed 8-by-11-inch, bright-yellow metal signs with frowning faces on them. If clients were in an exam room grieving or waiting on radiographs, fecal results, or lab work, we placed these signs in the baskets on the doors facing the employee hallway. These signs were an effective tool to create immediate awareness that a sensitive case was present. It's one more approach to improving a practice's internal communications.
—Angie Hartin, Edwardsville, Ill.