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The Art of Healing: Connecting Patients to Positive Outcomes by Enhancing the Interior Environment


 

As the delivery of care continues to transform, physicians are being called upon to address costs, improve outcomes and increase patient engagement. Miami-based Gapingvoid, a consulting firm focused on change management, believes they can help meet that triple aim by creating immersive art installations that purposefully connect people with positive outcomes both visually and emotionally.

Gapinvoid includes a number of leading companies among their clients, including: Microsoft, Zappos, Roche and Dell. In the healthcare arena, the focus is on improving the patient experience by inspiring trust and empathy as a foundation for building provider/patient relationships. Led by Jeff Shub, MD, who is director for Healthcare Consulting at Gapingvoid, the lighthearted art installations are created tp signal a positive mindset with images designed to inspire a targeted group of emotions such as trust, openness, happiness and delight. In turn, the belief is those emotions foster behaviors such as communication, empathy, and mutual respect with patients feeling both cared for and connected.

But does it work? There are a number of studies that affirm the link between nature, art, light and postiive outcomes. In an effort to improve employee performance and increase patient satisfaction, the Physicians Group of South Florida engaged Gapingvoid and measured the results. After the changes were implemented, the group saw dramatic increases in the staff’s attention to patient care and in positive patient perceptions about the office environment and in their overall experience.

For the two Miami offices of the Physicians Group of South Florida, Gapingvoid conducted preliminary research with staff and patients to determine the daily challenges requiring attention. Then visual pieces, created by artist and Gapinvoid co-founder Hugh MacLeod, was carefully selected and installed that serve as cues to align staff and keep them on message, resulting in an uplifting ... and often humorous ... atmosphere.

After the installation was in place, the practices saw measurable differences. Employees who had difficulty staying motivated at work dropped from 31 percent to none with 66 percent of staff stating helping patients was the most fulfilling part of their work as compared to 33 percent prior to the art program. Employees reported feeling more engaged, more rewarded, ans as if they were a 'part of something larger.' The positive feelings extended to the patient experience, as well. Of a group of patients surveyed before and after the project was installed, no one mentioned the art before the Gapingvoid installation. After the artwork was in place, 50 percent of those surveyed included the new imagery among their favorite parts of the office visit.

“Gapingvoid helped us understand that treating patients effectively means more than prescribing medication. It means working to create an overall environment that promotes positive, healthy interaction among staff and patients," said Jason Radick, MD, a partner of Physicians Group of South Florida. "The art is a reminder to our team to focus on our mission to help people feel better in body and in mind. The results of the program continue to make us a better practice every day.”

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