Concepts of healing hospitals
The concept of healing hospitals is based on the core principle of providing healthcare services in well-coordinated and humane manner. In this regard, the concept of healing is attributed with three major components.
A healing physical environment
In order to improve efficiency and quality of health care in a healing hospital, the creation of an environment that helps employees and caregivers engage with patients, families and the community is recommended (Marcus & Barnes, 1999). In this context, the healing physical environment is expected to implement communication strategies that improve the level of relationship within the hospital.
The construction of quite environments without noise from cleaning machines, in-room intercoms and other loud machines is necessary for a healing hospital. In this context, efficient healing hospitals should carpet the patient hallways. In addition, advocating the use of wireless phones among the hospital staff is necessary. Purchasing modern cleaning machines with silencers is an effective way of ensuring that patients are not disturbed while sleeping or resting (Marcus & Barnes, 1999). The noise-free environment is friendly to patients as it speeds up the healing process. In addition, the noise-free environment aids the hospital staff in focusing on duties without disturbances. It is important to acknowledge that distraction by noise within a hospital setting causes major mistakes such as medication errors. Apparently, a quite environment is calm and less prone to distractions.
Integrating work design and technology
Technology is necessary for improving the quality of service delivery in the hospitals. From this perspective, a healing hospital is effective when productivity is improved through technology. The efficiency of integrating work design and technology is beneficial to the patients’ healing process since issues of security and privacy are addressed through the same (Marcus & Barnes, 1999). The elevators are critical in improving staff movement within the healing hospital premise. The elevators are necessary for preserving security and privacy of patients who are transferred from one department of the hospital to another. In the same context, improvement of hospital equipments and technology in diagnosis, treatment and other interventions is hailed as necessary in the healing hospitals. In recent times, physicians prefer using modern technology to expedite diagnosis and treatment processes.
Another example of how technology has been integrated into work design is the use of in-room entertainment systems (Marcus & Barnes, 1999). The example of the Skylight system in providing patients with in-room education and entertainment has been critical expediting the healing process. In this context, patients enjoy relaxing music and watch television comedy, thus, stimulating the healing process. In addition, hospitals’ staffs prefer the use of advanced technology because of the safety and efficiency benefits of using the same.
A culture of radical loving care
An efficient healing hospital must embrace a culture of radical loving care (Marcus & Barnes, 1999). In this regard, hospital staff must be trained on how to treat patients and family members. In fact, the culture of radical loving care is a philosophy that reminds medical staff of their obligation to patients. The essence of radical loving care as a culture in the healing hospitals is to harness the healing process by addressing the patient’s emotional and spiritual needs. From this perspective, the administration in majority of the healing hospitals employs medics and other workers based on their gifts of love and compassion. Moreover, caregivers are trained on showing compassion towards patients and respective family members. The ability of a caregiver in sharing with the patients in terms of emotions and spirituality is considered a virtue in the healing hospitals.
The three components of the healing hospitals are related to spirituality in several ways. From this perspective, the element of spirituality in addressing the importance of life is evidenced through love and compassion of both hospital staff and family members (Puchalski, 2001). Through spirituality, patients experience a level of humanity from caregivers who understand the value of life. From a spiritual perspective, a sick person is deprived of personal needs and is in a weak state. Therefore, providing basic needs to a patient through any means is a spiritual virtue.
A common challenge in healing hospital environment is the inability of staff to differentiate between the importance of spirituality in health care and customer service (McCaffrey, 2008). Majority of caregivers lack the knowledge of understanding that spirituality is a strategy in helping patients by addressing social and emotional needs.
It is challenging for hospital administrators to coordinate staff education sessions related to spiritual healing environments (McCaffrey, 2008). It is difficult for hospital staff to attend training sessions and focus on duties at the same time. Moreover, the high cost of training hospital staff is a challenge in meeting the demands of a favorable healing environment. The idea of integrating work design and technology is confusing to staff who adapt new practices. For example, the use of new technology in performing diagnostic tasks may be different from standard procedures compared to other hospitals.
The challenge of determining the aesthetic quality of systems in a healing environment is enormous. It is a difficult process to identify aesthetics that alleviate stress among patients. In addition, patients react differently to positive distractions as evidenced through music, sculptures, gardens, murals and paintings (McCaffrey, 2008). Therefore, this development requires time and evidence-based research on the most effective quality of aesthetics.
Having the adequate social support is difficult if patients do not have close family members (Fottler, Ford, Roberts, Ford & Spears, 2000). In addition, the inadequacy of a social support may be derived by lack of enough hospital staff. In this context, the healing environment may not protect patients’ privacy and security especially if there is limited physical space.
Hospital economics may be a hindrance factor in establishing an efficient healing environment. In recent times, majority of the hospital facilities have succumbed to the idea of commercializing healthcare (Fottler, Ford, Roberts, Ford & Spears, 2000). In this regard, the development of a healing environment in a hospital will depend on whether the facility makes profit. Such a development may distract the hospital facility form providing quality healthcare services if the immediate community members are not financially stable.
From a Christian faith perspective, the bible supports the idea of a healing hospital. A quote from the bible states “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:14 New International Version). From the passage, it is evident that the church believes that the spirituality of a believer is critical to healing of the sick. The passage implies that a believer of the faith is mandated with taking care of the sick by using oil to anoint the sick.
Dossey, B. M., Certificate, C. D. I. N. C., Keegan, L., & Co-Director International Nurse Coach Association. (2012). Holistic nursing. Boston, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Fottler, M. D., Ford, R. C., Roberts, V., Ford, E. W., & Spears Jr, J. D. (2000). Creating a healing environment: the importance of the service setting in the new consumer-oriented healthcare system. Journal of Healthcare Management, 45, 91-107.
Marcus, C. C. & Barnes, M. (1999). Healing gardens: Therapeutic benefits and design recommendations. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Puchalski, C. M. (2001). The role of spirituality in health care. Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center), 14(4), 352.