In most hospitals, flags can indicate the type of care that a patient needs for that particular room. With these flags, the nurses, doctors, and other medical staff can quickly glance to see what needs to be done in each exam room. These flags are the perfect way to boost efficiency in those exam rooms. Here are a few more things that you need to know about these color exam room flags

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What Are Exam Room Indicator Flags?

If you are looking to improve the patient flow for every room, then exam room indicator flags can make a significant impact.  These indicators provide a status for the outside of an exam room. In some cases, the flags are plastic, but they can also be in the form of colored lights. For example, a green banner will mean the patient is ready for the doctor, while a red flag could indicate that the room is occupied. With this method, any staff member can quickly glance down the hallway and know the status of the room

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What Are the Meanings of the Different Colored Exam Room Flags Outside Patient Rooms? 

Exam room alerts and flags can be leveraged to suit your needs. However, some colors are universal in the medical field. These flags will give you a quick look at the status of an exam room.


When you look down the hallway and see a green flag, that color represents that the room is unoccupied. For a space to be unoccupied, it should be sanitized and set up for the patient. In simple terms, this room is “ready to go.” With this indicator, the patient can go from the waiting room to this exam room. This color helps the staff to understand which spaces are open and available for those patients. Plus, your team won’t have to physically check to see the available rooms for the patients. 


Blue can be a scary color in the medical field. In some hospitals, a code blue indicates that the patient needs immediate help. While that might not be the case with your exam room, the blue indicator flag typically means that a nurse is required to see the patient. The individual might have a question or need a test performed in the room. Like most indicator flags, this one will quickly alert a nursing professional to the right room for assistance. 


Unfortunately, some patients are more prone to falls, and yellow means there are fall risks involved. When these patients fall from a bed or chair, they could break bones or suffer other serious injuries. You want to make sure your staff understands the health risk of these particular patients. With a yellow indicator flag, you can be assured that the safety of your medical staff and the patient will be protected.

Related: Trends Impacting the Design of Healthcare Environments


After an exam, a patient might need more tests to diagnose their symptoms properly. In that case, you can use the black indicator flag to signal the staff to the room. This flag alerts the staff that the patient requires an x-ray. With that, the patient can be prepped for this process. In addition to that, this flag allows the staff to get to the right room and send the patient off for this necessary testing. 


White exam room indicator flags can have many meanings. However, the most common is the health and physical indicator. With this specific type of flag, you can alert the staff that the patient is ready for the physical exam. In some cases, the patient will need extra equipment to conduct the test. Once again, these flags can help your staff to be properly prepared for the patient in the room. 

a color exam flag with several colors


Keep staff communicating clearly and efficiently in medical offices, hospitals and clinics with Carsten’s exam room flags


Finally, a red exam room indicator means that the room is occupied with a patient. In many cases, the patient is waiting for the doctor or nurse. This flag helps prevent any “accidents” where the staff walks into the exam room when the patient is being examined or in a state of undress. This indicator allows the staff to recognize that the room is taken, and there are no “mix-ups” in assigning the patient to a room. 

Related: Trends Impacting the Design of Healthcare Environments

Not Every System Is the Same

Now that you know the basic colored flags for your exam rooms, you can go ahead and create your own system. There are a variety of styles, colors, and lengths in the medical industry. These flags can indicate a variety of situations in your medical facility. You don’t even need to stick to the “regular” colors of red, green, or yellow. Some flags can be customized in length and color

a basic color indicator flag


The Bottom Line

As you can already tell, color exam room flags are very beneficial for patients and staff. There is little chance of accidentally walking into a patient exam or worrying about miscommunication with staff members. With a glance, you can check the status of the rooms and address them appropriately. From green to red, these color exam flags are vital to the medical industry, and you will want to add them to your facility. They can help you manage a more efficient medical office, hospital, or another health facility. 

Need help managing your medical exam rooms? Reach out to the team at Carstens to find what you need!