A massage before surgery. Yoga classes for visiting family members. Soothing music piped into the patient room. Meaningful conversations with caregivers. These are among the techniques hospitals are adopting to develop what have become known as "optimal healing environments."
Regulatory, economic and workforce pressures too often have taken the healing out of health care, proponents of the concept assert. "For most hospitals, the primary focus is on diagnosis and treatment," says Wayne Jonas, M.D., president and CEO of Samueli Institute. "In the meantime, most hospitals would like to focus on healing the patient." Creating an optimal healing environment is a way for an organization to return to its roots as a healing enterprise and help achieve its mission and vision.
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