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PATIENT-FOCUSED DESIGN IS GOOD MEDICINE

 CHICAGO, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Hospital Association issued the following:
 Health care professionals have long known about the correlation between stress and health. Design professionals have similarly recognized the relationship between stress and the environment. As research confirms these connections, hospitals are embracing psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) in interior design to create "healing environments." PNI focuses on biological responses to sensory stimuli.
 According to the Robin Orr Group, a resource for healing environments, the primary elements in humanizing and personalizing the hospital environment to reduce stress are color, light, sound, smell, texture, and taste. For example, music in the operating room can reduce the amount of anesthetic patients require.
 In remodeling its intensive care unit, Cottonwood Hospital in Murray, Utah, created patient rooms with large, back-lit color photographs of soothing nature scenes to compensate for the lack of windows; headphones on which patients can listen to their choice of music; VCRs for viewing nature videos; and bulletin boards where visitors can leave messages for each other.
 Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Ore., broke up the institutional look and feel of patient units with four different floor plans and color schemes for patient rooms. They added warmth with floral-patterned sheets, overstuffed easy chairs, AM-FM cassette players attached to bed rails, individual TVs and VCRs, and special vinyl floor coverings that look like hardwood floors. Nature is an important ingredient in this mix: all rooms have original artwork reflecting local nature scenes and, more spectacularly, a three-story glass atrium features a waterfall, a familiar sight and sound to residents of the Columbia Gorge area.
 Instead of staring up through the dark at sterile white ceiling panels, patients in the imaging department at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., enjoy a back-lit mosaic of slides that creates an underwater world on the ceiling. Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott, Ariz., treats patients undergoing gastrointestinal procedures to their choice of six different types of music.
 -0- 2/3/93
 /CONTACT: Lauren Phillips of the American Hospital Association, 312-280-6104/


CO: American Hospital Association ST: Illinois IN: HEA SU:

TW -- DCFNS2 -- 2192 02/03/93 07:34 EST
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Date:Feb 3, 1993
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