27 OF April 2015 Aesthetic Lighting For Healthcare Facility Environment

By Blaine Engle

Task lighting is essential in every healthcare facility, but the importance of aesthetic lighting should not be overlooked. Many administrators believe there is a strong and direct link between environmental and health quality. Improving the overall patient experience by creating a more pleasant environment can positively influence patient satisfaction and well-being, which is a critical metric for healthcare managemen

Aesthetic lighting can help attract patients, as well as recruit and maintain medical staff. Lighting helps regulate the rhythm of day and night; create a visually appealing, emotionally relaxing atmosphere for patients, families and staff; and efficiently and effortlessly guide pedestrian traffic through central areas in healthcare facilities.

Unfortunately, many healthcare administrators based in both rural and intercity areas around the country are faced with outdated, inefficient facilities. They have to renovate their buildings to continuing operating in a very competitive environment. Renovations include a variety of spaces ranging from soaring atrium lobbies to common spaces and hallways, which lead to more private areas such as surgery suites or patient rooms.

These renovation projects must also take into account an overall mandate to reduce medical costs, along with U.S. federal government-sponsored initiatives to reduce facility energy costs. As a result, lighting has to fit into energy management programs. Lighting typically comprises about 8 to 10 percent of the total energy use in a healthcare facility. With tight margins, any lighting energy savings is significant. Thus, aesthetic lighting should not drive up energy cost, but should contribute to the health and well being of the staff, which accounts for approximately 60 percent of a healthcare facility’s total cost.