Health Issue 2 Danielle Young

This week, the issue in healthcare that I chose to explore was the design and décor of healthcare settings such as hospitals. In my discussion post, I referenced hospital setups and changes that can benefit patients, families and healthcare professionals according to Blair Sadler’s article regarding the building of better healthcare facilities. I also touched on current problems within these facilities such as the need for ceiling-mounted patient lifts, so that professionals, such as nurses, are no longer getting injured whilst lifting their patients (Sadler, 2011).

What stood out to me were the respite areas, which were on the list of innovations. The arts can be incorporated not only within these specific areas in hospitals, but all throughout as well. My article this week, taken from the New York Times, is entitled “For Patients, More Comfort and a Bigger Dose of Respect”. In this article, author Kate Lombardi talks about the ways in which Northern Westchester Hospital made little changes in order to “offer more humane treatment (Lombardi, 2008). For example, there has been attention given to the ambiance of the hospital rooms and artwork was placed all throughout the hallway.

“At Northern Westchester Hospital’s outpatient cancer center, one way was to hang pictures of nature scenes on the ceiling, so patients who lie down during treatments have something to look at. If they choose, they are given headphones and guided imagery to help manage anxiety” (Lombardi, 2008).

These are just some of the many small changes that hospitals are trying their best to make in order to look after the well being of their patients.

There was a study conducted in 2006 by the Department of Health Group on Arts and Health within three hospitals in Scotland, which concluded that the arts have a “clear contribution to make and offer major opportunities in the delivery of better health” (Lankston, 2010). One of the three hospitals, The New Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh has what they call the “Pelican Gallery”. This gallery is an art gallery, which displays work done by patients and staff. It also hosts exhibitions from local communities.

The above quote is one of my favorite quotes, which in my opinion goes well with the idea of Arts in Medicine. Lankston even mentions this quote within her article.

Little changes to the setting, design and décor of the hospital or healthcare setting, although seeming minor at first are actually major improvements and therefore very beneficial ways in which the delivery of healthcare can be enhanced.

Link to New York Times Article:


Lankston, L., Cusack, P., Fremantle, C., & Isles, C. (2010). Visual art in hospitals: case studies and review of the evidence. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 103(12), 490-499.

Lombardi, K. (2008), For Patients, More Comfort and a Bigger Dose of Respect.

Sadler, B.L., (2001)Fable Hospital 2.0: The Business Case for Building Better Health Care Facilities. Hastings Center Report, 13-23

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