It is no secret in healthcare that a first time visit for a patient can be scary. Be it a toddler coming in for a first check-up or a cancer patient receiving their third round of chemo, there is a lot to think about when you first walk in. Often the décor isn’t the first thing on a patient’s mind, however, it can be the thing that help puts their mind at ease.
In recent years, the effects of the physical environment on the healing process and wellbeing have proven to be increasingly relevant for patients and their families. The focus has changed from traditional and institutionally designed healthcare facilities to the actual mental well being of patients as an indicator of their health and recovery. There are many reviews and investigations on how “evidence-based health care design” can affect patients, families and health care staff. Everything from color pallets to lighting, and even imagery is taken into account when considering how it can be used to put patients and families at ease, and help in their healing process.
Designing for Healing
A visiting professor at the “Center for Healthcare Architecture” at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, Roger Ulrich, has been the thought leader on “evidenced based health care design” for over 30 years. In 1984, Ulrich wrote an influential paper which significantly impacted how hospitals are designed today. In his paper, Ulrich compared two sets of patients; one had a view of trees from their recovery room, the other had a view of walls. Using clinical data he showed that the patient with tree views had a shorter hospital stay and fewer negative evaluations from nurses. This patient also took fewer moderate-to-strong pain killers and had slightly lower scores for post-surgery complications.
It’s amazing what the natural world can do for one’s outlook. But what do you do if you can’t bring the outdoors in?
Bring the Outdoors In
Integrating natural elements with your interior design doesn’t have to be expensive or get in the way of those caring for patients. They can be added in subtle ways such as door signs, decorative panels or murals. INNERFACE’s new Lucid and Impact product lines can provide just this sort of natural, customized touch. Using direct print technology, we bring full color images to signage, wayfinding and design elements. Choose from local natural scenes that alongside natural style lighting and calming interior design can promote health and peace of mind for patients and their families.
Whether there for a first check-up or lifesaving surgery, natural elements and calming imagery can reduce stress and contribute to patient healing and wellness.