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Cultivating a Mindful Space for Practitioners and Patients

Cultivating a Mindful Space for Practitioners and Patients

The hospital is a stressful place for patients and staff alike. Patients hate that they have to be there and are usually worried about medical expenses and how the visit may turn out. Doctors have one of the most important jobs in the world, and the stress brought on from this can oftentimes get to them. Creating a space that is mindful of the stressful nature of healthcare facilities is crucial in order for the hospital system to function effectively. Less stressed out practitioners leads to better care, which leads to better patient confidence, which leads to less stressed out patients, and creates a much better healthcare environment for everyone.  


One of the most important spaces when it comes to the patient’s perception of a facility is the waiting room. This is even more true for first time visitors because they have no previous knowledge of the quality of care they are going to be receiving. It’s completely normal for patients to experience stress and anxiety when they have to go to receive care at a hospital, so it’s crucial to have a warm and welcoming waiting area that can help alleviate the stress they are likely feeling.  


There’s a lot of different strategies that hospitals can use to create a welcoming waiting area. Here are some tips from the AMA on how to create a waiting space that is mindful of the stressful nature of healthcare: 


  • Incorporate uplifting designsWell-chosen and placed artwork can drastically improve a patient’s perception of the clinic as well as their mood. Artwork featuring realistic images of nature and landscapes has been proven to reduce patient stress and even pain. An even better option, if the area that a hospital is located allows, would be window views of natural settings, however since this is not a possibility for many facilities, pictures work great as well. It’s important that this artwork is placed in clear view of the area where the visitors will be seated so that they can observe the details without having to move around.  


  • Provide positive distractionsPositive distractions are an excellent way to keep visitors minds busy and alleviate the stress from waiting to be seen. Some examples of positive distractions include magazines, informational materials, newspapers, and even TVs set to a loop of patient education material.  


  • Plants and natural elements: Placing plants in the waiting room will aid in creating a more natural and comfortable waiting room, and would complement natural artwork well. Plants have also been shown to ease patient anxiety. Another option, although it requires more maintenance, is placing a fish tank in the waiting room. Fish tanks have been proven to decrease anxiety and lower blood pressure in waiting rooms.  


  • Avoid stress and anxiety inducing designs: Well-chosen artwork can work wonders in reducing the stress that visitors feel and improve the overall patient experience, but poorly chosen designs can have the opposite effect. A general rule is to avoid abstract artwork because it can actually increase the anxiety that patients experience.  


Another area that is very important in creating a positive patient experience is the exam room. Patients will most likely spend the majority of their time in the exam room, which is why its crucial to create a welcoming area designed to keep visitors calm and comfortable. Here are some tips on how to create a positive space in patient examination rooms: 


  • Use light, warm colored paint on the walls: Warmer colors tend to create a calming environment that will keep the patient comfortable in the space.  

  • Organize and consolidate materials and supplies: Making sure to keep exam rooms organized and clean will help build up patient confidence in the care they are receiving. Having the right medical equipment such as Utility Carts, will aid greatly in keeping materials organized.  

  • Organize patient education materials: Patient education materials like flyers and magazines should be organized and placed in clear view of the patients.  

  • Plan and implement a good furniture layout: Furniture should be arranged in order to maximize space in an exam room. The layout should also improve patient engagement by allowing them to sit in a chair directly across from the physician which will improve eye contact and create an overall better patient experience.  


The operating room is another hospital space that is synonymous with stress. Surgeons have undoubtedly one of the most stressful jobs in healthcare, and in general. Operating is never easy, but having the right equipment in place can sure make it easier. It’s very important to keep supplies and surgical instruments organized in the OR, and having good medical equipment will make keeping everything organized a breeze.  


Equipment Stands are an excellent investment for an OR, and can greatly improve the overall organization of the space. These portable carts are a great way to add extra worksurface area and provide much needed storage space for surgical equipment. Additionally, equipment stands can be moved around the OR, and placed in the right spot for a particular operation.  


Instrument Tables are another key to a wellorganized operating room. Surgeons have to be able to focus their energy completely on the task at hand, and shouldn’t have to worry about having all of the tools that they’ll need ready. Having a solid instrument table that is kept organized will alleviate this unnecessary stress that surgeons can experience.  


There’s no way to completely remove the stress from healthcare facilities because it is just part of the nature of healthcare. Patients are always searching for answers about what is wrong with them which inherently brings out stress. Practitioners are constantly providing these answers, but this can be extremely stressful for them as well. There may not be a way to completely get rid of the stressful nature of healthcare, but there are certainly methods that facilities can use to create a space that is mindful of this.  


Lakeside manufacturing is dedicated to providing the healthcare system with high quality equipment that can be custom modified to fit in perfectly in any facility. Contact us, and let’s figure out the right equipment for your facility to help reduce the stress felt by both staff and patients.  

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