Many people have a healthy fear of hospitals. That fear is perpetuated by the stress-inducing sterility of hard-tiled floors, the bland and unforgiving stench of illness and germ-killing cleaning agents that are synonymous with all things unnatural.
Hospital administrators are starting to enact much-needed changes in the design of their facilities. Healthcare management is understanding more and more that there are notable health and wellness benefits to well-designed natural landscapes, both interior and exterior, that seriously impact clinical outcomes.
Employee morale, as well as patient satisfaction and visitors’ positive impressions, are considerably enhanced by the inclusion of plants in hospitals. Facilities can even impact their bottom line, as patients and visitors will view the buildings in a more positive light when interior plants are present.
Research has yielded favorable results
Professor Roger S. Ulrich, Ph.D., at Texas A & M University College of Architecture and Medicine has conducted studies on gardens located in hospitals and their health impact on sick patients. His findings, like those of many others, are now being utilized by hospital architects as well as hospital administrators throughout the United States, to change the way that new healthcare facilities are being designed. Ulrich’s studies showed that patients who viewed natural elements saw decreased recovery times and fewer post-surgical complications. These elements could be a plant, a window with a nature view, or even just artwork conveying the natural world.
Another study on stress and recovery of surgical patients found that patients in hospital rooms with plants had lower systolic blood pressure and less pain, anxiety, and fatigue than patients in rooms with no plants. Participants also noted that plants in the rooms conveyed the impression of hospital staff taking greater care of the patients.
Newer facilities typically incorporate indoor landscapes and well-designed gardens that are visible from hospital beds and other areas frequently visited by patients and visitors. Likewise, hospital staff members benefit from the added greenery. This results in decreased employee burnout, ultimately improving staff morale through a beautified and healthier work environment.
Natural filtration system
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors. That translates into spending the vast majority of the time inhaling mold, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, dust mites, chemicals and even pesticides. Hospital plants offer a sustainable solution for improved indoor air quality making a hospital deliver a healthier experience.
Plants naturally filter the air of harmful chemicals and other toxins. Plants in hospitals can also combat SBS (sick building syndrome) and boost humidity levels which decrease cough-inducing dry air. Rooms filled with plants were shown to have 50%-60% fewer molds and bacteria in the air than in rooms devoid of plants. Indoor plants also offer taxed hospital employees a soothing and beautiful escape; the mere presence of plants conjures up the healing power of nature which can only help to boost morale.
Experiments conducted by Virginia Lohr and others at Washington State University show that levels of dust and other particulates can be reduced by as much as 20% with the introduction of foliage plants. Attractive foliage plants, in hospitals, are a wonderful addition that helps to create a warmer environment. After all, nobody wants to endure a lifeless and plant-free environment while confined to a hospital bed.
In addition to the natural air filtration that plants provide, VIRUSKILLER™, our line of air purification units provide advanced clean air technology that kills 99.9999% of viruses on a single air pass.* Learn more, here.
*Independently tested against Coronavirus DF2 (a surrogate for Coronavirus), Adenovirus, Influenza and Polio virus.
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