Creating a Healing Hospital Environment
What is a Healing Hospital Environment? A healing environment is defined as one that has a nurturing and therapeutic effect. Studies show that well-designed hospital environments can reduce patients’ anxiety and stress, accelerate recovery, shorten hospitalizations, reduce medication use, lessen pain, and promote a sense of well-being. On the organizational level, therapeutic environments can help contain costs by improving patient outcomes, reducing length of stay, and enhancing staff recruitment, satisfaction, productivity and retention.
Specific healing design elements include:
- Exposure to nature such as views to the outside, interior or exterior gardens, aquariums, and art with a nature theme
- Soothing colors, natural light, pleasant sounds, cleanliness, visual stimuli such as artwork
- Reducing environmental stressors such as noise, glare from lights, and poor air quality
- Comfortable rooms with seating that can be arranged for visits from family and friends
- Encouraging patients to personalize their room with special personal items that provide them comfort.
These and other elements create surroundings that help calm patients and strengthen their ability to cope and recover.
Creating a Healing Environment at Montefiore
Montefiore is committed to providing a physical environment that promotes the highest quality of patient care. Initiatives such as these contribute to a healing environment:
- Design and Construction Projects - Capital Engineering and Facilities projects designed to enhance the healing nature of the hospital environment.
- Inpatient Television Networks - The GetWellNetwork® interactive patient care system at the Children’s Hospital offers personalized, age-relevant education and entertainment, while the C.A.R.E. Channel in the adult divisions featuring circadian rhythm-based soothing music and images.
- Silent Hospitals Help Healing (SHHH) - A Nursing initiative to reduce noise levels at Montefiore by educating associates about noise control and correcting sources of disruptive noise on clinical units.
- Summer Concert Series - Weekly concerts performed in the Moses Campus East-West Gardens from mid-May through July for the enjoyment of associates, patients and community residents.