Hospital administrators know that the better patients feel emotionally, the faster they will heal physically. This is one of the key factors driving the choice of a healthcare facility. When selecting a healthcare facility such as a hospital or long-term care residence, patients have traditionally looked for the best possible care from highly qualified medical personnel. While the quality of care will continue to be of paramount importance, the last ten years have seen a trend; patients are moving beyond the healthcare facility’s performance rankings to other more emotional and environmental qualities such as privacy, room comfort, ambiance, calm and clean surroundings and the comfort of guests and loved ones. Today’s patients are better informed and are taking increasingly greater responsibility for their personal health and medical intervention. As a result, today’s healthcare facilities are focused on providing increased levels of patient comfort as well as care. By creating more positive environments, healthcare providers can directly impact patient satisfaction and overall quality of health. Hospital facilities are including additional “amenities” including cafés and libraries to attract and satisfy patients and staff. These demands are driving many sweeping changes in the design/development of new healthcare facilities and the updating and renovating of existing ones.
Good lighting is essential to satisfying these goals. In the intense 24/7 working environment of hospitals, lighting gives healthcare professionals the ability to adapt the environment to their own preferences enhancing motivation and visual comfort. Hospital workers such as pharmacists and nurses have fewer errors at higher illuminance levels.Lighting helps patients feel at ease and involved in the healing process. Lighting synchronizes the human biological clock or circadian system, affecting how building occupants feel, physiologically and psychologically. Because lighting is tied to patient healing and safety, it can have a positive effect on the cost of care and the hospital’s operational and insurance costs.