Art From The Start: Why Artwork In Healthcare Shouldn’t Be An Afterthought

artwork for healthcare facilitiesIn the past, the importance of artwork for healthcare facilities was often underestimated. Even now, some hospitals and healthcare offices think of art installations as an afterthought. But it’s important to consider installing wall art for hospitals well before the walls are even built. By incorporating artwork into the facility’s design from the start, you can create a more relaxing atmosphere that will help patients heal more quickly and position your organization as a leader in your industry.

What are the benefits of implementing artwork for healthcare facilities into your design from the beginning?

For one thing, you’ll be able to improve client perception. If your facility is known for a certain specialty or your clients tend to be of a certain demographic, you’ll want to stand out for all the right reasons. Having a beautiful facility will increase overall patient satisfaction, which has a direct impact on how they perceive the quality of their care to be. When the Arts for Health staff at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center placed 18 pieces of local art on neurosurgery floor walls and in patient rooms, patients reported they felt more at home and more comfortable. They also said it made them feel that the staff cared more in general. By working with a healthcare art consulting firm from the get-go, rather than at the last minute, you’ll show patients and their families that you truly care about their experience and will deliver a higher quality of care.

It may surprise you that using superior artwork for healthcare facilities can actually help to more effectively manage patient pain and stress levels. When patients are able to look at a calming still life or nature scene, they’ll typically feel less anxious and may even feel less pain. The Dublin Methodist Hospital in Ohio has combined natural light, rooftop gardens, and artwork to create an environment that helps patients feel better more quickly.

Cheryl Herbert, President of DMH, told Healthcare Design, “The importance of artwork as a positive distraction is well documented. We felt artwork, together with other elements of evidence-based design, would contribute positively to the overall well-being of our patients, families, staff, and physicians.”

Other studies have even found that having art in healthcare centers may allow patients to physically and emotionally heal more quickly than they would otherwise. This positive distraction and reduction of stress may play a bigger role in how we feel than many people realize.

Finally, by using artwork for healthcare facilities, you’ll turn your institution into a real destination. Although no one especially wants to go to the hospital or other type of healthcare center, patients will feel more assured about going to yours. In addition, other facilities will look to you for leadership; you’ll be able to pave the way by providing the highest quality care available. You can help guide your industry as a whole and become an integral part of your community.

While it might not seem like decoration should be at the forefront of your facility’s design, the artwork you choose to ornament your walls can have a huge impact on public and patient perception of the care you provide. By working with an art consulting firm from the very beginning, you can create an aesthetically pleasing institution that actually helps in the healing process. Instead of thinking of artwork as a mere footnote, consider its role in both your facility’s appearance and your ability to assist everyone who walks through your doors.