All of Us looks to reduce stress in hospital visits

The Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital NHS Trust, reportedly one of the largest cardiothoracic centres in Europe, is working on a series of projects to improve the patient experience, with interactive design specialist All of Us.

The trust’s arts co-ordinator, Victoria Hume, has commissioned the consultancy to review the cardiac suite and look at ways to reduce patient anxiety levels across the ward, waiting rooms, anaesthesia, operating theatre and recovery rooms.

The project will be carried out over three phases and is expected to be completed by summer 2005.

The design team at All of Us is planning to install a series of interactive initiatives to help overcome patient feelings of isolation and loss, building on extensive research carried out among patients. The consultancy will create a ‘sound corridor’ to relax patients as they enter the suite and an audio-visual ‘window’, located in the waiting room.

The window installation aims to ‘bring into the room the countryside that sits on the other side of the wall,’ through a series of images and interactive elements, according to Mickey Stretton, design director at All of Us.

According to Stretton, ‘We have already carried out patient trials to discover the kinds of aesthetic and emotional response that a variety of natural imagery engenders. These findings have gone on to create the brief, which we are now working to, with filming and development due to commence in the spring.

‘We have definitely observed trends that re-evaluate how well- designed surroundings and systems can have a beneficial effect on the treatment and healing processes of patients,’ he adds.

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