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5 ways to engage patients using whiteboard

An illustration of a whiteboard being used during a telehealth call

It happens to everyone: zoning out of a conversation. Being tired, preoccupied with other thoughts, or simply unable to follow the conversation can make it easy to mentally check out.

For patients, following conversations that may involve medical terms—well, it’s inevitable that a patient’s eyes might start to glaze over at some point.

Whiteboard activities can improve communication

Thankfully, offers a tool that helps keep conversations engaging, collaborative, and easier to follow. You might be asking, What tool can do all that? 

The answer is’s whiteboard

This virtual whiteboard allows you to remain inside a HIPAA-compliant call while drawing, typing, or even annotating images or worksheets. Both providers and patients find it so helpful, that nearly 100,000 whiteboards were created in 2023. And almost 2 million minutes were spent on whiteboards by providers and their patients in 2023.

(Learn how one sports therapist uses whiteboard in this Q&A: telehealth best practices for athletes and high-performing individuals.)

Here are five ways a whiteboard can improve the telehealth experience.

1. Supporting therapeutic exercises and non-verbal processing

Commonly used for: mental health, behavioral health, and psychiatry

Common activities:  

  • Talking through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and cognitive processing therapy (CPT) worksheets
  • Drawing out mind maps
  • Leading art therapy 

Couple’s therapy example: During a couple’s therapy session, you add a template to the whiteboard that helps clients visualize an interpersonal cycle. Ask each spouse about their thoughts, feelings, and actions in a specific scenario and add their answers to the whiteboard. 

Visually outlining the cycle helps showcase how each spouse’s thoughts and actions affect the other. 

Resources: Worksheets from Positive Psychology

2. Understanding anatomy and physiology

Commonly used for: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, primary care, radiology, dermatology, orthopedics, gynecology, and cardiology 

Common activities: 

  • Highlighting areas of interest in X-rays 
  • Asking patients to circle where they feel pain
  • Showing patients a diagram of the body or a specific organ while explaining its function

Physical therapy example: At the start of each session, have a front, back, and side view of the human body added to the whiteboard. Ask patients to circle or highlight areas of concern or pain.

3. Following labwork and charts

Commonly used for: primary care, infectious disease, endocrinology, rheumatology, immunology, and genetic counseling 

Common activities: 

  • Walking patients through bloodwork results
  • Explaining blood pressure, cholesterol, or BMI ranges 
  • Reviewing any brochures or informational pamphlets geared toward patients

Primary care example: A patient with high cholesterol has asked what their cholesterol should be. During their telehealth visit, you add an image showing cholesterol ranges and mark their current cholesterol. Highlight a reasonable goal and add a text box that lists ways this patient can achieve healthier cholesterol. 

4. Building healthy habits

Commonly used for: primary care, diet and nutrition counseling, mental health, behavioral health, and maternal health counseling

Common activities:

  • Filling out a meal plan
  • Outlining a healthy sleep schedule
  • Using a daily planner to schedule times for self-care 

Dietitian example: Walk your patient through the upcoming week’s meals using a meal planning template. By working together, you can help your patient identify busy days when they might need leftovers—as well as days when they can go to the grocery store or cook. 

Resources: Habit tracking worksheets

5. Engaging children and neurodivergent patients

Commonly used for: pediatrics, mental health, and behavioral health

Common activities: 

  • Playing simple games like tic-tac-toe
  • Filling in coloring pages
  • Drawing or doodling on a blank whiteboard

Example for helping patients focus: Let your patient pick a coloring worksheet, then add it to the whiteboard. Let them doodle while conversing. For children and anyone whose mind easily wanders, having something to do with their hands can help them focus on the conversation. 

Resources: Coloring pages for all ages from Crayola

Personalize every telehealth visit

With so many options, whiteboard makes it possible to create a custom experience for each patient. And your patients will feel like they are getting the highest level of care.

If you’re ready to improve communication and engagement with your patients, learn more about how to get started with whiteboard.