Medical emergencies can be stressful, but that doesn’t mean a hospital’s emergency facilities need to be! Some of the most sensitive, high-risk areas in hospitals are Intensive Care Units, Neonatal ICU’s, and Emergency Rooms. For such spaces, incorporating artful features is surely not as high a priority as life-saving equipment. Nonetheless, art installations can provide a much-needed visual reprieve to patients, their families, and caregivers.
Lyric by Lynn Heitler is a child-friendly example of animals in art that would be well suited for a pediatric facility, NICU or other environments catering to young patients.
For NICU’s and emergency pediatric facilities, animals and playful, bright colors can have distinctive positive effects on young patients. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London has researched the effects of art on patients in hospitals over the last couple of decades. Some of the more recent findings concluded that, according to 84% of reporting clinicians, “zoo-themed” artwork reduced the anxiety of pediatric patients.
In consultation rooms, art can be a key factor in creating inviting, soothing surroundings. Some patients and families will receive difficult and sensitive news in such rooms, so thoughtfully chosen artwork can offer a beautiful visual distraction when people might need it most. A backlit piece in this space has the added benefit of literally brightening up a space and infusing it with warmth that could help generate an atmosphere of respite.
Emergency waiting rooms are another area in which patients can benefit from art installations. Artwork in these areas has been shown to decrease restlessness in patients and reduce their perceived wait time. These feelings increase their likelihood to report a positive, helpful experience in the hospital. Landscapes and nature imagery are ideally suited to provide a calming diversion in such settings.
Take, for example, this installation we did for an emergency room corridor. The designer wanted a visual element to give patients a moment of calming distraction from discomfort or impatience, or uncertainty. We color-matched the art panels to coordinate softly with the neutral tones of the stone finishes. The final result is a hallway with artful touches that integrates naturally with the rest of the design environment
Incorporating thoughtful artwork in a way that is sensitive to the needs of patients in urgent care situations can provide many benefits. LYNNEL can help designers can go the extra mile to optimize environments for patients by utilizing the positive effects of artwork in emergency healthcare facilities.
Check out our full portfolio of over 3,000 art, photography and installation images.