Back in February 2009, I wrote a post titled ‘Creative Interventions as Patient Amenities in Hospitals’ based on an article in BusinessWeek (Feb. 16, 2009). To summarize, the article cited a RAND marketing study indicating concierge/hospitality services as more desireable than high-quality patient care. If this is any indication how consumers think and choose their healthcare institutions based only on plush accomodations versus low mortality (death) rates to recover from mild to life-threatening conditions, we are becoming a nation of non-thinkers. Concierge services does NOT equal high-quality patient care!
As an advocate for integrating creativity and the creative process in healthcare, I believe creating environments conducive to the healing process is a step in the right direction. But concierge services? How do these services help patients and families heal? Are there any long-term benefits of hotel-like services for patients? Or have hospitals strayed from their original missions and visions? I believe the latter may be true, i.e., hospitals have lost their original vision of healing the sick in an attempt to gain market share, but at (Garden at Giverny, 1900 Claude Monet) least we’ll be able to attend a cooking class at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
And this trend of hospitals offering concierge services termed ‘amentities’ is growing. In July 2008, USA News had an article titled, “Who Says a Hospital Stay Can’t Be Fun?” It shed light on the growing movement of hospitals to function more like hotels by offering amenities, such as gourmet dining, fine art, field trips, cooking and gardening classes, afternoon tea service, Wi-Fi connection, and much, much more!
Here’s a few examples of amentities offerings at some hospitals across the US: Century City Doctors Hospital in Los Angelos’ markets it’s menu created by Wolfgang Puck…installed flat-screen TVs in all rooms…M.D. Anderson Cancer Center offers patients field trips to local museums…cooking classes at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. I wonder if patients attending a cooking class or taking a field trip actually need to be in the hospital. WHO is paying for all this luxury?
Let’s offer Creative Interventions as Patient Amenities. At least, there is scientific data to support the benefits of engaging in the creative process and the arts. Read ‘The Science Supporting Creativity in Healthcare’ under TOPICS on the left side.
Creative Interventions = Patient Amenities
Creative Interventions = Smart Marketing Strategy
Creative Interventions = Cost-Effective Treatment Modalities
Activate the body’s self-healing properties by exploring the relationship between art making and self-care with
Creative Interventions in Healthcare:
Art exhibits with artwork created by patients, families, professional staff
Indoor and outdoor healing gardens
Art at the bedside
Creative interventions for healthcare professionals
Integrative medicine modalities
Blair Sadler, former President & CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital & Health Center (San Diego) and strong supporter of the arts in healthcare said the following…
“The arts optimize patient care and can create a strategic business advantage by differentiating themselves from competitors, and effectively garner support for starting and maintaining art programs.”
Nature…the ultimate healer.