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Giving Every Patient the Beyoncé Experience

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, January 18, 2012

Incorporate light, nature, and art whenever possible

Fort Belvoir Community Hospital boasts a design filled with bright colors, nature themes, and countless floor-to ceiling windows bringing in floods of light.

Windows and skylights exude light and enable patients to look at the rural landscape at Children’s Hospital Colorado. The hospital has an extensive art collection and many of the pieces feature scenes from nature. Hospital designers also used color therapy throughout the facility.

"Research shows that certain colors can aid in healing. For instance, blue is relaxing and has one of the most powerful healing effects on children," reads the hospital website. "Green increases compassion and has a calming effect. Red strengthens energy and will. This knowledge guided color choices throughout the hospital."

Dublin Methodist Hospital also features nature throughout the building, most spectacularly in its window-walled lobby that features a tree-filled arboretum. "With quiet, intimate family spaces, natural light and beautiful gardens, our space is centered on helping you get better and feel better, too," the website says.

Can't afford an arboretum inside your lobby? There are still many ways to bring nature in. Real, live plants beat fake ones any day, and artwork featuring a beautiful landscape or quiet outdoor scene is never out of place. And if any walls are due for repainting, it may be worth looking into color therapy—especially if the current wall color is drab.

By beginning to incorporate these patient experience-enhancing elements into more hospitals, marketers can begin to raise the public's expectations for their hospital stays. Perhaps by the time Blue Ivy has her first child, the room she was born in won't look extraordinary at all.

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2 comments on "Giving Every Patient the Beyoncé Experience"


Betsy Block (1/19/2012 at 11:08 AM)
I am proud to say that Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, just west of Denver,CO has it all. Patients remark, "It feels more like a hotel than a hospital." The luxurious atmosphere of the newly built women's center includes private suites, flat-screen TVs, whirlpool tubs, wifi, a serenity spa for relaxation and massage, and an outdoor patio with mountain views. The patient experience is top-notch as noted by their high patient satisfaction scores and a recent award from a women's watchdog group.

Kristin Baird, RN, BSN, MHA (1/18/2012 at 6:33 PM)
Marianne, This article brings up the important balance between the environment including all the amenities you mention and the human experience. As a former OB nurse, I can tell you that even though the amenities and the room are nice touches, the things that patients will remember forever are the human interactions that made them feel cared for, supported and celebrated. I do lots of speaking and one of the things I ask my audiences is if they have had a birthing experience (as a parent) and if so, how many of them remember their nurse. I feel I can safely say that over 90% remember their nurse from a birthing experience. What they remember and talk about even decades later is the nurse who treated them with compassion and respect and who made their families and newborns feel like celebrities. We can't all be Beyonce, but we can make sure that our patients and families get VIP treatment regardless of our ability to install luxuries.