(Funded by the Center for Health Design Research Coalition Grant, 2009-10)
Memorial Hermann Hospital and Ben Taub General Hospital, Houston, Texas
Wait times have been addressed as one of the most important concerns for people visiting emergency departments (ED). Affective states significantly impact wait time perception. There is substantial evidence that art depicting nature reduces stress levels and anxiety, thus potentially impacting the waiting experience. This study set out to analyze the effect of art depicting nature (still and video), on patients’ and visitors’ behavior in the ED. A pre-post research design was implemented using systematic behavioral observation of patients and visitors in the ED waiting room of two hospitals over a period of four months. Thirty hours of data were collected before and after new still and video art was installed at each site. Significant reduction in restlessness, noise levels, and people staring at other people in the room was found in both sites. A significant decrease in the number of queries made at the front desk, and significant increase in social interaction was found in one of the sites. The study concluded that visual art has positive effects on the ED waiting experience.
Presented at Healthcare Design Conference—2010; EDRA—2011
Published in Journal of Emergency Medicine—2012
EDAC Accredited CEU Course