Healthcare providers need to reach people on a personal level. The concept of the healing hospital paradigm research reveals that specific design changes in healthcare environments can reduce patient stress and alleviate the consequences of that stress. These changes can also help reduce medical errors and hospital-acquired infections, while improving staff morale and efficiency (Kreitzer, 2011). This paper will identify the concepts of a healing hospital, advances in technology, the physical design of the hospital and culture which promote a holistic approach to patient care.
Physical Environment The healing environment goes beyond just the basic construction materials that make up the hospital. An actual healing environment is constructed to help patients and families cope with the stresses of illness, and are free from overhead paging, in-room intercoms, loud machines or noise at the nurse’s station (Eberst, 2008). Hospitals need to be free from physical disturbances which can cause stress for the patient and their family. Many hospitals are under constant construction. The loud noise of this construction can inhibit healing.
Healthcare providers need to be sensitive to this and be patient advocates to ensure that the construction noises are at times when the patient is not in a resting state. They can coordinate construction times during optimal patient awake times. This will allow patients with adequate rest periods to promote healing. Patients need internal transformation to completely heal. Human aura is an expression of what is taking place within the mind, the soul, and the spirit of the individual. When considering this the color of the environment plays a big part of the healing environment.
The use of chromotherapy, color healing, is essential when considering a healing environment. Green is considered the universal color for healing (Stefanidakis, 2001). Using colors appropriately in the hospital environment can encourage emotional responses to enhance healing. If the incorrect colors are utilized the patient may present with symptoms of irritability instead of peacefulness or cheerfulness which could inhibit healing. Furthermore, the hospitals interior plays a major role in the healing process.
Spirituality will be promoted if the interior reflects the hint of a religious atmosphere such as exercising specific religious artifacts spirituality will be promoted. Hospitals can also incorporate unrestricted visiting, decorative fountains, fireplaces, skylights and healing gardens to help provide a relaxing environment which decreases stress for their customer population. Technology Technology can help provide an overall healing environment. Medical advances in medicine and diagnostic procedures help provide treatment for the physical illness.
Historically physicians treat physical illnesses, psychiatrists treat mental illnesses and hospital chaplains deal with spiritual issues. Many times the physicial treatment of illness is the main focus of hospital staff. However, technology can also provide a way of better communication between staff and physicians with the use of cell phones. Wireless monitoring systems and alarm silence mechanisms can provide a quieter, calmer environment with less patient stress which promotes a healing environment. Although technology helps promote the healing of physical illness patient satisfaction can be improved when a holistic approach is taken.
The healing hospital incorporates technology and holistic patient care to provide body, mind and spiritual healing (Chapman, 2007). Spiritual Healing Spirituality is the search to know our true selves and discovering the real nature of consciousness (Russell, 2006). Many times healthcare providers think of patients based on their diagnosis. This thought process depersonalizes the patient. This can lead to care that is not holistic. Healing hospitals promote staff education and administrative support to provide patients with holistic care.
If staff members enter patient rooms in a calm and unhurried manner the patient perceives this as a loving environment (Chapman, 2007). This approach to each patient encounter allows the staff to address all of the patient needs. In this situation patients will open up to the staff so that all patient needs are identified. The staff can then recognize these needs and utilize all available resources to aid the patient in the healing process. Spirituality plays a major role in the patient’s ability to cope with stress and illness (Ashcraft, Anthony ; Mancuso, 2010). Biblical Passage
In times of illness people turn to their faith and pray for help. The bible states “The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness” (Psalm 41:3, New International Version). This reinforces the healing the concept of the healing hospital and the power of prayer. Prayer is one of the most helpful ways of inspiring hope in our patients and families. This passage reinforces the belief that spirituality is essential in the healing process. As healthcare providers we must be sensitive to our patient’s spirituality and incorporate this in our patient care.
This is a paramount of the healing hospital paradigm. Incorporating spiritual healing provides holistic care that is essential in the restoration of health. Culture The concept of the healing hospital is gaining the attention of healthcare professionals when they consider holistic care. It is essential that hospital administrators as well as the staff embrace this concept to achieve holistic patient care. If everyone is not on the same page, holistic care cannot be achieved. Many times administrators are dollar focused. In this process they lose site of the aspect of holistic care.
Many hospitals struggle financially and in a knee-jerk reaction jobs are eliminated. This often results in fewer nurses with larger patient loads. It also results in increased work demands of other employees. Cutting corners to save dollars affects all aspects of patient care. Patients often feel like a number or diagnosis and the personal aspect is lost. Patients’ emotional and spiritual needs are not met. How can hospital employees produce a healing atmosphere and provide holistic care to their patients with these obstacles? Holistic care can only be achieved in a loving, caring environment (Chapman, 2007).
This atmosphere will produce better patient satisfaction scores and enhanced revenue for success. This also provides employee satisfaction which promotes better patient care. These concepts go hand in hand. The healing hospital implements processes based on subjective theories as well as scientific evidence based practices to promote all aspects of healing. Conclusion The healing hospital paradigm concept encompasses an all-inclusive treatment to meet patients’ needs for complete restoration. The components of this theory are a culture of loving care, a healing environment and technology with a combined work design.