How to Choose Artwork For Healthcare Facilities

When it comes to providing high-quality healthcare, prescribed medications, life-saving operations, or physical therapy sessions are often what people think of first. Ill patients often regain their good health through a combination of treatments, including various types of therapies and environmental alterations. When medical professionals overlook the impact our surroundings have on our well-being and ability to heal, patients may take much longer to recover or may encounter substantial emotional challenges. But by using beautiful wall art for hospitals and healthcare facilities, patients get to reap a number of benefits.

The benefits of art in hospitals and healthcare facilities are well-documented throughout numerous studies and in anecdotal evidence. One 2011 study out of the University of London found that when subjects looked at a beautiful painting, the physical and emotional effects bore a striking resemblance to those experienced when looking at a loved one: blood flow increased by 10% to the “joy response” portion of the brain. When patients are able to feel joy and comfort, rather than depression and stress, their emotional well-being can have a noticeable, positive effect on their healing time. That, in turn, increases patient satisfaction and allows organizations to save money in the long-run.

Using artwork for healthcare facilities and hospitals will only stand to improve health outcomes for patients. But how do you make sure you’re choosing the right kind of wall art? A healthcare art consulting firm can help you make specific determinations on the type of art you should display in your facility. Not all art is created equal, and not all artwork is well-suited for your patients’ needs. You need to make sure you’re choosing art that has the potential to help your patients and improves the overall aesthetic quality of the space. Here are a few tips for choosing artwork for hospitals and healthcare centers:

Consider nature-based art or landscapes
Certain studies have shown that art that depicts realistic nature scenes are often patients’ top choice for artwork in hospitals. Specifically, patients like to see artwork that involves lush, green spaces or scenes that evoke nostalgia or a sense of comfort. Psychologically, this makes sense for a number of reasons. Patients want to be reminded of pleasant times and when they see thriving wildlife, they feel encouraged to grow and flourish themselves. This is why wintertime scenes or artwork that captures harsh weather conditions are not recommended in healthcare situations; they typically evoke stress and depressing thoughts. Nature photographs or artistic interpretations of lovely landscapes are excellent choices.

Stay away from abstract
Abstract art certainly has its place and can be used effectively in all sorts of corporate situations. But our healthcare art consulting team doesn’t typically recommend it for use in healthcare environments. Abstract art is not universally pleasing; while those with a highly trained eye may enjoy it, even art fans will often find it challenging. In healthcare facilities, using abstract art can actually lead to increased anxiety among patients. By nature, the subject matter of this artwork is ambiguous and totally open to interpretation. While this can make for an interesting visit to the museum, it’s typically not very comforting to healthcare facility residents. In healthcare art consulting, we’ll always suggest you pick something that will be ubiquitously calming and pleasant. Ultimately, abstract art does not fit the bill.

Pay close attention to color
Just the impact a color can have on our state of mind is nothing short of astounding. Color choice is extremely important for healthcare facilities, from the color of the walls to the colors in a given piece of wall art. Cool colors can provide a sense of relaxation, which can be very beneficial for many patients. But it’s also important to balance out those cool colors with warm, neutral tones. Extremely vibrant reds and yellows may increase anxiety for many people, so you’ll probably want to opt for more muted versions of these colors. As a rule, the colors in the artwork you choose should make patients feel at ease.

If your healthcare facility feels dull and listless, some well-chosen artwork can make a huge difference in the lives of your patients. For more information about our healthcare art consulting services, please contact us today.