Sep 14, 2020
Incorporating art into healthcare settings is a relatively new idea, and it’s one that has risen in popularity as hospitals adopt a more modern design aesthetic. This is especially the case for long-term and behavioral healthcare facilities, who have experimented and found success with artistic environments and art therapy. The incorporation of art into healthcare settings has been shown to lead to improvements in the self-esteem and mood of patients, all while reducing their stress levels and symptoms.
As hospitals and long-term behavioral settings continue to incorporate art into their architectural and interior design, several healthy benefits have been revealed that can have the greatest effect on patients.
The most notable difference-maker comes from incorporating art into the very design of both common areas and patient rooms, the areas of a facility where patients spend most of their time. When they are not outside getting sunlight and interacting with nature, it becomes vital to present positive distractions that lift the moods and reduce the stress of patients.
Studies conducted at behavioral healthcare facilities have found that nature-based abstract representational art and realistic images of nature, when placed in these facilities, created a positive environmental element for their patients. Nurses reported that on days where the art was displayed there was a reduction in the number of incidents in the facility that required them to intervene. This not only has a profound impact on the wellbeing of patients, but it also comes with a financial benefit. The facility estimated that at an average cost of $60.30 per incident, the annual saving for the facility would be $27,526. Simply placing nature-based art around the facility can be a significant cost-saving mechanism with a low initial financial investment.
Whether the patient is in a memory care unit and needs help keeping track of their day or a behavioral care unit, communication is a key part of the treatment process. When designed with effective information fields, patient communication boards can become a vital tool in both behavioral and memory care. But the content is not the only important part of the whiteboard. Its design can also have an impact on patients. Whiteboards serve the dual purpose of helping providers communicate with patients while also being an attractive, effective positive distraction for patients. If there is space in a patient room for a piece of art, there is undoubtedly room for a whiteboard to serve this dual purpose.
When placed in patient rooms, whiteboards can help patients remember the names of family members and care providers as well as key details about their treatment and day-to-day activities. When designed creatively and incorporated with artistic features, these same communication boards can also provide patients with all the benefits of having a piece of art in their room.