Healthcare & Hospitality
FOOD FOR THE SOUL
There is evidence that art in hospitals can improve outcomes.
•Patients exposed to art needed less analgesia and had shorter post- operative stays (1)
• Exposure to the arts in healthcare settings was shown to reduce the need for sedatives after urological(2), orthopedic or plastic surgery(3), and to reduce the need for analgesics following gynaecological surgery(4).
• A study on cancer patients showed that exposure to live music and/or visual arts diminished the consumption of drugs required both for anaesthesia and analgesia. It also boosted patients’ immune-system function by reducing stress while undergoing treatment(5).
• Many maternity units now include specially designed delivery areas featuring the arts because so many studies show reduced blood- pressure in mother and child, reduced need for pain-relief, reduced need for caesarean sections, and shorter labors.
• There is a significant body of evidence that art improves outcomes for mental health service users.
Shorter hospital stays and reduced drug usage mean cost savings.
Staff recruitment, retention, and productivity
• 2/3 of people working in healthcare - whether clinicians, nursing staff, managers or administrators – all rated the artistic elements of their surroundings – architecture, light, colour, artwork, music – as ‘greatly influencing’ their choice to apply for or remain in their current position(6)
• Ernst & Young measure staff satisfaction every month. They recently sponsored a major exhibition of Cezanne at the Tate and staff satisfaction with the idea of working for E&Y went up by almost 25% during those months.
Art can convey the message of personalised excellence in care
Survey evidence consistently indicates that NHS patients dislike the feeling of being just part of a production-line that attending a big hospital can give.
A hospital that has high quality art in place projects a very strong message to its patients and potential patients: this is not just a medical factory-farm. The presence of good art says: we care about you, we take you seriously as people, we care about your environment and the environment of the people who are caring for you, we care about how you feel. It says: we are more than a hospital – we are a part of the good things in your everyday life.
Art speaks volumes about you and your business.
As an artist, I like to think that the artwork chosen in any project is the most important aspect of design and decoration,
as it does convey so very much.
Recently, I stayed in a very lavish hotel in the UAE. It was just beautiful; all of it – with the exception of the artwork.
The corridors were lined with framed prints. Nothing unusual there other than only three designs
were used and repeated throughout the corridors over and over, and those same designs were also used in the guestrooms. To make it
worse, each print was buckling and the mounts were crooked.
This was still a five-star hotel but it had lost its panache.
Obviously the budget was tight or the owner had run out of money.
At least, that is the perception such ‘art’ conveys!
1 Ulrich, R. Science, 1984 - 224,20-421; Ulrich et al Psychophysiology, 1993 - 30 (supp 1),7 2 Koch, Anaesthesiology, 1998 - 89,300-306 3 Walther-Larsen, Regionad
Anaesthesia, 1988 – 13, 69-71 4 Good, M, et al , Pain Management Nursing, 2002: 3 (2), 61-70.
5 Homicki B et alThe Oncologist, 2004: 9, 1;111-114 6 Staricoff, Study of The Effects of Visual and Performing Arts in Health Care, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital,