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 emerge from their long lasting comas to finally enact much needed change 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-interior and exterior-that seriously impact clinical outcomes.
Employee morale, as well as patient satisfaction and visitor’s positive impressions are considerably enhanced by the inclusion of plants in hospitals. Facilities can even impact their bottom line with our green friends 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 healthy impact on sick patients. His findings, like those of many others, over the past 20+ years, is 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.
Newer facilities typically incorporate indoor plantscapes 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 resulting in employee burnout decreasing, ultimately improving staff morale through a beautified and healthier work environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans spends an average of 87% 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.
Natural Filtration System
Plants naturally filter the air of harmful chemicals and other toxins. Plants in hospitals can also combat SBS (sick building syndrome), 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 the 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.
How do you think plants make a difference in healthcare facilities?
To learn more about the variety of indoor plants, visit our plant catalog online.