In the previous decades, hospital furnishings have been considered a necessary expense and institutional products where brought in to facilitate the need.
In recent years, through experimental studies we have found out that patient environments have an impact on the patient emotional experience and healing.
We have all heard of White Coat Syndrome, where the patient becomes stressed psychologically prior to any medical intervention. Many techniques are used by nurses and physicians to reduce the anxiety of the patient but by the time the physician gets to see the patient, an emotional state has already begun to take place.
Some hospitals have understood this and have created beautiful atriums and relaxing environments for the patient and support person but many still have not. Have you ever been to a hospital where the waiting area could just as easily be a visiting area for a jail? The drab colored walls and institutional seating feel cold and scary, like some kind of punishment for getting sick. As you sit down, you immediately feel your blood pressure rise and you start to notice the cracked vinyls, the wood arms have lost all the stain and gloss and you wonder how these chair could possibly be cleaned properly. The frontlines nurses are telling us that a comfortable and relaxing environment makes a difference in their tasks as well as giving the patient the positive experience during their stay.
This also extends to the patient rooms. The Positive Emotional Experience can improve recovery through proper rest and relaxation and it also invites support people to come and enjoy the atmosphere. It is often reported that providing a comfortable chair or even a sleep chair to the patient’s room for family support, has brought numerous benefits to the patients and staff alike. The patient will be more relaxed with a family support person but the benefit extends to the staff as the support person takes on the small tasks usually left to the staff. If you don’t have space for a recliner or sleep chair, a comfortable high back chair with a foot rest is a great solution.
In addition to the Positive Emotional Experience, it is important to balance a nice decor with infection control standards. With new wood-free design products, you can reduce the risk on HAI (Hospital Acquired Infection). Learn more about this on out blog.