Patient Communication Board to Be Featured on TV Series "ER"

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The Vidatak EZ Board, a communication board for patients who have been intubated or are unable to clearly communicate vocally, will be featured in two upcoming back to back episodes of the television series “ER” and become a standard prop for future episodes.

The Vidatak EZ Board, a light-weight communication board designed for patients who have been intubated or are unable to clearly communicate, will be featured on an upcoming episode of the television series “ER”.

This episode will focus on Chicago’s fictional County General Hospital bringing in the patient communication board and highlight the application of the Vidatak EZ Board and value of being able to communicate clearly and quickly with nonverbal patients.

“Before our patient communication board was created, patient communication was limited to how well a nurse could make out a patient’s gestures or words around a tube, or in some situations, using an alphabet chart, which could be almost as frustrating,” said Lance Patak, developer of the Vidatak EZ Board and a critical care nurse at UCLA’s Cardiothoracic ICU. “We’re hoping that ‘ER’ will help raise awareness of the situation facing intubated patients and how much our patient communication board can help.”

The EZ Board patient communication board was designed by patients who were or have been intubated or unable to communicate verbally during a hospital stay. It features:

  •     Large, easy-to-read text in either Spanish or English
  •     An “I Am…” column to indicate state of being (I am short of breathe, I am thirsty, I am afraid, I am in pain, I am unsure of what is happening)
  •     An “I Want…” column to indicate wants and needs (I want to be suctioned, I want my family, I want a blanket, I want the lights on or off)
  •     Pictures of the body which the patient can use to indicate needs in a certain area
  •     Color-coded pain intensity levels from 0-10 to describe listed discomforts (itching, stinging, cramps, can’t move, is numb, burns, is tender)
  •     A time frame so the patient can indicate when he or she would like these needs met (immediately, later, as soon as possible)

“It also enables patients to thank their practitioner, something that many of the patients testing the patient communication board requested specifically,” added Patak.

The ‘ER’ episodes featuring the Vidatak EZ Board patient communication board are scheduled to air on Thursday, November 10 and November 17, 2005 at 10PM, PST on NBC. The EZ Board may become a standard feature on future episodes. For further information about the EZ Board or to order a patient communication board, visit or see any of their distributors:

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
800-899-2226 (Phone)

949-362-2020 (Fax)

Sammons Preston Rolyan (Hospital/Rehabilitation Distributor)
800-323-5547 (Phone)

800-547-4333 (Fax)

B Independent (Rehabilitation/Speech Pathology Distributor)
913-390-0247 (Phone)

913-390-7090 (Fax)

ADAMLAB, LLC (Speech Pathology Distributor)
Tel. 248-362-9603

Fax 248-362-9606

About Vidatak, LLC

Established in 1999, Vidatak Enterprises began distributing their patient communication boards to hospitals all over the country. By 2003, Vidatak had changed its name, ownership, and business models. Now, Vidatak, LLC continues to present their research findings and critical care patient communication boards at various conferences.

Vidatak is currently involved with several ongoing research studies in a continuing effort to improve the quality and content of their products. A new EZ Board patient communication board design is currently underway and will be made available early next year.

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Lance Patak, President
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