DiversityNursing Blog

Art In Hospitals Could Improve Patient Satisfaction

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Aug 03, 2018 @ 11:27 AM

97328f63008b3c20084941b6b3a0ec18According to Penn State College of Medicine researchers, patients' perceptions of the hospital they're being treated in may be improved by artwork. This could be a low-cost way to help improve patient satisfaction.

"It is relevant to hospital administrators who are under increasing pressure to improve care quality and the patient experience. People often find medical environments stark and uninviting, and artwork is a way to humanize hospital rooms and perhaps make them feel warmer, more inviting, and less 'medical," said Daniel George, associate professor of medical humanities.

Cleveland Clinic emailed former patients, inviting them to respond to a survey about the health system’s art program. Out of the more than 1,000 respondents that had visited Cleveland Clinic within the previous 12 months, 826 (76 percent) remembered noticing the art collection.

Of the 826 respondents who noticed the art, an average of:

  • 73 percent said it somewhat or significantly improved their mood. Results were even higher among the subset of respondents treated for breast cancer (78 percent), generalized anxiety (81 percent) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (84 percent). Results also were higher the longer the hospital stay. For example, 91 percent of two- and three-day visitors reported that the art improved their mood.
  • 61 percent said it somewhat or significantly reduced their stress. Results were even higher among the subset of respondents treated for cancer (65 percent), generalized anxiety (69 percent) and PTSD (81 percent) — as well as among the subset of two- and three-day visitors (72 percent).
  • 39 percent said it somewhat or significantly improved their comfort or pain level. Results were even higher among the subset of respondents treated for cancer (43 percent), osteoarthritis (47 percent), generalized anxiety (49 percent) and PTSD (54 percent).

fullsizeoutput_1da7According to research done by Stine Maria Louring Nielsen and professor Michael Finbarr Mullins of Aalborg University in Denmark, patients noted that the mere presence of the artworks inspired confidence that the hospital was well cared-for, leading them to expect a high level of care while staying there.

Arts in Medicine is a national and international program that brings healing arts into healthcare systems. One of the oldest programs is at Duke University, said visiting artist Elizabeth Garlington, which made bringing the program to Haywood, a Duke LifePoint hospital, a logical extension.

Ken Picou, a physical therapist assistant at the hospital, said the artwork is already serving its purpose. “My patients walked farther today because they wanted to see the pictures,” he said. “One patient walked twice as far to see more.”

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“A Nurse can document how far a patient walked if they say which picture they reached because they know it is 32 feet from pod to pod,” Garlington said. “For patients with dementia, their long-term memories can be triggered by seeing the photo of Looking Glass Falls where they may have once gone hiking or quilts that prompt someone to remember a quilt they once made.”

Garlington noted the images were beneficial to Nurses as well. "In handling patients this sick, there is compassion fatigue for the Nurses who are dealing with trauma every day," she said. "That's why we choose healing images, water, nature and scenes in Western North Carolina to bring a calmness."

Susan Mahoney, the Chief Nursing Officer at Haywood Regional Medical Center, said "This has been a minimal investment with a big impact."

Artwork in hospitals can be extremely beneficial in many ways. We hope to see more art programs and hospitals teaming up in the future to provide a more therapeutic environment for patients.

What is your work environment like? Is there uplifting artwork where you work? If so, please share! 

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Topics: art in hospitals, patient satisfaction

3 Things Patients Want from Nurses

Posted by Pat Magrath

Tue, Apr 04, 2017 @ 04:03 PM

hospice-palliative-care-2-1.jpgMost Nurses deal with patients every day, particularly in a hospital setting. You are on the go the moment you enter the hospital and often don’t have time to catch a breath, let alone grab a sandwich or take care of personal needs. Because you’re so busy, you may not have the time to really connect with each patient.

No one is blaming you. You’re most likely overwhelmed and focused on doing all the details your job entails. This article may be helpful in guiding you to understand what the patient is looking for from you. Let us know your thoughts.

To be successful in their role, nurses have a long list of skills and traits they must possess. Yet some days it can feel as if they need one more: mind-reading.

Patients aren’t usually the best at communicating what they want. This is somewhat understandable, however, since it’s intimidating to be in any unfamiliar situation, let alone one as stressful as a hospital stay.

1. Transparency

Most of your patients will have limited to no clinical knowledge, which means they might not even know what they don’t know. While they may not fully comprehend the complexities of every procedure or medication, the patient doesn’t want to be kept in the dark about their treatment. You certainly don’t want to overload them with terminology or the mechanics behind each medical device but you also want to keep them as informed as possible.

It’s reasonable to assume “ignorance is bliss” for patients (especially if their treatment is particularly overwhelming) but trying to protect patients by restricting what is communicated regarding their care prevents them from making the best decisions about their treatment.

Make sure the lines of communication are open between the care team and the patient as well as their family. If lab results indicate a change in the patient’s condition (be it minor or major, negative or positive) let the appropriate care team members know as soon as possible so they can inform the patient. If a procedure will be delayed, inform the patient and give them your best estimate of how long they will have to wait.

2. Respect

Every member of the hospital staff has a busy schedule from the moment they walk in the door each day to the moment they leave. Nurses have many patients for which they are responsible, so sometimes small courtesies can be sacrificed in the interest of efficiency. Though the nurse may not intend to offend a patient by quickly entering a room, checking their vitals and moving on, the patient may not realize the full scope of the nurse’s responsibilities and interpret this as disrespectful.

Nurses and other healthcare providers can do a few simple things to show respect to patients:

  • Knocking before entering a patient’s room
  • Introducing him or herself
  • Addressing the patient by his or her preferred name
  • Explaining the purpose of their visit
  • Ensuring the patient understands how to contact a nurse and navigate the hospital

Patients also want to be consulted on their condition and have their concerns acknowledged. While sometimes patients may feel it necessary to share information that isn’t necessarily relevant to their treatment, they’ll still appreciate you taking the time to listen to what they have to say. Plus, a minor complaint they happen to mention in passing might indicate a more serious issue that may have gone unnoticed had the patient not brought up the symptom.

3. An Invitation to be Involved

Inviting patients and their families to be actively involved in making decisions about the patient’s treatment is an important part of patient-centered care. Provide patients with helpful resources and tools and help guide them through the decision-making process. Patients want to feel as if they are truly a part of their care team and aren’t simply following orders over which they have no say.

Ensure the patient feels comfortable asking questions. Encouraging patients to ask questions allows them to feel more in control of their care and helps prevent potential treatment compliance issues due to misunderstandings.

Not only will this practice help patients, but research by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has also shown that engaging patients and their families had the following benefits for hospitals:

Ultimately, your goal as a nurse is to provide the best experience for your patients. You’re committed to administering high-quality care and being candid, showing respect and encouraging involvement can also help increase patient satisfaction.

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Topics: patient satisfaction

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