Good design and beautiful aesthetics play an important role in hospitals and patient care areas. Aesthetics can be a source of perceived pleasure to mitigate stress during a hospital stay. Nearly 10 years ago, Silentia partnered with designers and nurses to determine how printed, colorful images printed on privacy screens would improve patients’ well-being at the bedside.
Artwork is a common way hospitals create a calming and healing environment for patients and visitors while improving the immune system of patients. Art can reduce stress, elevate mood, and lower blood pressure. Exposure to art has been shown to expedite the healing process and has resulted in more positive survey experiences being reported. When children are exposed to art, it can stimulate their imagination and distract them from the stress of a condition.
Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern medicine, recognized the importance of art in medicine from her work in the mid-1800s.
A recent study about visual art in hospitals recalled Nightingale’s Notes on Nursing, where she wrote, “The effect of beautiful objects, of variety of objects and specially the brilliance of colour, is hardly appreciated…the way in which we are affected by form, by colour and light…they do have an actual physical effect. Variety of form and brilliance of colour in the objects presented to patients are actual means of recovery.”
Digital artist, Yuri Shwedoff recently wrote about the positive effect of abstract art on mental health. “According to research, art improves our immune systems and has been shown to reduce stress, elevate mood, and lower blood pressure. Furthermore, research shows that patients who are exposed to art during a hospital stay experience better overall and heal faster.” He goes on to discuss the ability of art to “cultivate a healing environment” that supports patient recovery across the spectrum of physical, mental, and emotional stresses they may be experiencing.
Today it is a well-known fact that art is clinically proven to stimulate healing. Our physical and mental health are affected by art. Abstract art with various colors, and shapes can positively impact our mental health and stimulate our brains. It can even provide us with a sense of calm and relaxation.
Considering this, Silentia partnered with two artists to create natural motifs that would help stimulate patient healing. The result was two series of patented privacy screen designs that were created in 2015, called StoryPanels and ArtPanels.
StoryPanels – Design that stimulates imagination
With StoryPanels, Silentia developed a print technology and a standardized system that would offer health-promoting spaces for children and create a less clinical look. Colorful planets became the artist’s theme and inspiration for StoryPanels.
Stefanie Schöffmann, the artist who created StoryPanels, commented, “The colors, shapes and funny figures all have a purpose in order to give a positive psychological effect, a calm feeling and to stimulate the imagination.” Each of the planets is a zoomed-in image of something found in everyday life—spaghetti, a sponge, a feather, a leaf—giving new meaning to the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
StoryPanels can serve several functions in a pediatric hospital setting. It can be an important tool for nurses and caregivers to help children feel more at ease while they are waiting, as well as inspire and entertain children’s creative imaginations. It can be a welcome distraction while creating a playful atmosphere for patients and their families.
Three versions of StoryPanels were created for children at different age ranges: planets, planets with sketch illustrations for younger children (ages 1-5 years), and planets with sketch illustrations for older children (ages 6 and up). StoryPanels come alive due to the light that shines through the Silentia translucent daylight panels that serve as the backing for the images. Daylight in a patient room has also been shown to demonstrate improved health, shortened hospital stays, and reduced pain.
StoryPanels improve UCSF surgery center waiting room
StoryPanels have been placed in one prominent UCSF California Bay Area outpatient surgery center. The playful folding screens act as a privacy divider between the waiting room and the surgery intake check-in desk and patient recovery bays.
A major selling point was its colorful attributes that matched the aesthetic in the surgery waiting room. They chose the younger children’s design, which was well suited for their age population. The screens were the preferred choice based on how they offered a colorful, quiet area that supports a positive atmosphere.
ArtPanels – The peace of nature
ArtPanels were designed by the landscape artist Magnus Reisne, a native of Sweden. The designs were originally made of vibrant water-based oil paint to unlock the magic of nature. The paintings communicate peace, tranquility, and positivity for patients of all ages. ArtPanels are also backed by Silentia Daylight screens for their brilliance and translucency that make the colors come to life.
Magnus offers insight into the different images and colors, saying, “The green soothing colors should inspire people to relax and just be in the moment. To slow down, get well, and let things take their time.” He adds, “Nature provides tranquility in a complex world. Research shows that art with views of nature and animal life has a positive effect on hospital patients’ recovery.”
The narrow, tall folding panels presented a unique challenge for the artist needing to paint the images starting at the bottom of the panel and moving upwards. Intrinsically offering a pathway for the viewer’s eyes to move up through the painting.
ArtPanels features six different scenes, each depicting a beautiful blend of colors, nature, and cows that represent a feeling from the patient experience.
Art is an important aspect of the patient’s healing process. Pioneers in healthcare and today’s modern medicine recognize the importance of incorporating artwork into hospitals for its healing benefits on patients. Art has been shown to improve a person’s mental health and well-being. In children, art has stimulated their imagination and been a distraction from their discomfort in an unfamiliar setting.
We have made art a key focus in our screen designs by collaborating with professional artists to develop researched-based solutions that stimulate healing. As a result, StoryPanels and ArtPanels have been used in hundreds of pediatric hospitals across the world, bringing joy and stimulating wellness in children, visitors, and staff.
Art and design will continue to be important areas of focus for healthcare and Silentia going forward. To find out more, connect with our team, or explore the options on our virtual screen builder, EasyScreenDesign.
This article was written by Jennifer Montoya, Regional Sales Manager, Northern CA, at Silentia, Inc.