The Healing Power Of Art In Healthcare

If I asked you to tell me the first thing you thought of when I said health care, you probably
wouldn’t say artwork. And yet, it plays a vital and underrated part in the healing environment of a hospital.

At one stage in history, it was seen as an experimental treatment, however research now shows that artwork can actively aid the health of patients physically and mentally.

KwickScreens at Woolverstone Centre, Ipswich Hospital, Art Consultancy: Willis Newson, Artist: Julia Allum, Photographer: Clint Randall

KwickScreens at Woolverstone Centre, Ipswich Hospital, Art Consultancy: Willis Newson, Artist: Julia Allum, Photographer: Clint Randall

Physical rehabilitation

Having artwork on your walls or as part of your ward design, it can act as a way to significantly improve the physical health of your patients.

Artwork is proven to lower pain within patients and increase how quickly they get better. In 1984, Dr. Roger Ulrich completed ground-breaking research, in which he found that patients with a window required less pain medication and recovered much quicker than those who were not staying in a room with a window.

Since then, research has expanded on this theory and found artwork within a patient’s room has comparable benefits to having a window.

Further research shows that vivid pictures of landscapes, friendly faces and familiar objects can lower blood pressure and heart rate. It also says that appreciating creative and artistic pieces can boost the immune system.

So how can you use this research to improve your ward?

Here at KwickScreen, we can print high quality photographs to use on your ward in place of a hospital curtains or a room partitions. You may not wish to have peoples faces on your KwickScreen partition screen but our catalogue of designs includes many types of landscapes, as well as other designs, so you can pick the design that will best suit your ward.

Mental rehabilitation

There are a few ways in which artwork can help mental rehabilitation, these include depression, anxiety and trauma.

Depression:

Scientists have revealed that when looking at art, dopamine is triggered in the same area of the brain as the part that falls in love, meaning that art biologically makes you happier, and stimulates positive thoughts, proven to deal with feelings of depression.

Claire Tee, an ITU staff nurse from the William Harvey Hospital, told us of a time she noticed the difference one of our KwickScreen hospital screens made to a patient’s mental health, she said “I had a patient who was depressed one night and had just come off the ventilator. I pulled the screen out in front of him and it really brightened his mood. I saw him smile for the first time.”.

KwickScreens at Woolverstone Centre, Ipswich Hospital, Art Consultancy: Willis Newson, Artist: Julia Allum, Photographer: Clint Randall

KwickScreens at Woolverstone Centre, Ipswich Hospital, Art Consultancy: Willis Newson, Artist: Julia Allum, Photographer: Clint Randall

Anxiety:

Looking at artwork is proven to help with reducing anxiety. This is due to the fact that if people feel at ease with a picture they can relate to, they can project their own feelings of anxiety onto them. By doing so, they can release the pressure of nervousness and therefore relax.

What is the best way to use artwork for healing?

1) Not too stimulating

Although artwork can be a good way to reduce stress and anxiety, if it is too stimulating it can have a bad effect on health. Abstract art can sometimes have a negative effect on health as it increases the feelings of anxiety. If you are considering how you can use artwork on your ward, you may want to think about choosing art and images based on the theme of a ward in order to make it consistent and not too visually overpowering.

2) Things people can identify with

Another thing to consider when choosing which images and artwork to use is whether it is something people can identify with. For example, if your hospital was in a very wet and green landscape, it would be harder for your patients to identify with a desert scene, rather they may prefer to see a picture of a wood or a field of flowers. By choosing relatable images, patients can therefore project their own feelings of unease onto it and reduce stress and anxiety.

3) Nature is best

Studies show that nature is the best image for improving health and wellbeing for everyone, including children. Images of green landscapes, water scenes and cultural artefacts have been proven to calm patients. These images help reduce anxiety and depression.

Image of nature on KwickScreen partition screen

Image of nature on KwickScreen partition screen

4) Using artwork as a way to spark conversation

When chosen carefully, a picture can help generate conversations with people who you might not know how to speak to or they might not know how to speak to you.

One way you could use artwork with children is by using a ‘picture search’ piece of art. This
could be an underwater scene where you could play a game to find the fish or the mermaid.
It can also be great for children’s imagination, as it can get quite boring sitting in the same
room all day, so using an interesting photograph could spark their imagination and improve
conversation. If you want to read more about how to use artwork to spark imagination, take
a look at one of our other blog posts.

Art in dementia ward

Art can also help generate conversations on a dementia friendly ward, between staff and patients and also patients and visitors. It can be quite difficult to start a conversation when they don’t know who you are and you’re not sure what they remember, so using imagery and artwork will help improve the patient experience through conversation that doesn’t involve constantly asking if they remember something. If you want to find out more about dementia friendly spaces, our blog post might be able to help.

KwickScreen partition screens used as a backdrop to create a dementia-friendly environment

KwickScreen partition screens used as a backdrop to create a dementia-friendly environment

So if you’re looking to improve your ward design as well as improve your patient experience,
KwickScreen is a great way to incorporate artwork, which can be beneficial to your patients
mental and physical rehabilitation.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you adding art to your healthcare environment.

KwickScreen Partition Screens Create Realistic Simulation Scenarios At Buckinghamshire New University

Read how KwickScreen partition screens provide first-class, real-world simulation scenarios for Buckinghamshire New University students thanks to high-tech equipment here.

Read how KwickScreen partition screens provide first-class, real-world simulation scenarios for Buckinghamshire New University students thanks to high-tech equipment here.

KwickScreen partition screens with high fidelity images play an important role in education of young medical students by providing realistic scenarios for simulation training

Working under pressure seems natural when you are experienced but teaching new staff can be difficult if all you teach is theory.  

Simulation training provides students with a safe learning environment in which they can develop skills without the risk of making a detrimental mistake.

A KwickScreen in use at Bucks New University

A KwickScreen in use at Bucks New University

KwickScreen Partition Screens Improve Patient Safety

We worked with DipHE Operating Department Practice at Buckinghamshire New University to provide its students with high-tech equipment to create realistic scenarios they are likely to encounter in the real life once they finish their studies.

Course Leader Shane Roadnight said: “We want to give our students an experience as close as possible to scenarios they will encounter in the real world.

In our case KwickScreens are ideal for projecting images which gives the illusion that students are occupying a space in various specialised venues within the operating department or in an ambulance.

We use it daily as an interactive tool and it has changed the way we teach things, meaning we can effectively turn one room into two or three and meaning scenarios can be played out in real-time.”

Mr Roadnight said, for example, real-world anaesthetic rooms are notoriously small and enclosed so introducing a partition creates a more realistic clinical practice in a controlled environment.

He added: “The students really like it and it’s amazing how separate they feel on the other side of the partition. 

Having use of this kind of equipment to benefit our students’ learning will ultimately lead to improved patient safety when they enter the workplace.”

For the full article about KwickScreens at Buckinghamshire New University go here.

KwickScreens for simulation in use at Bucks New University

How KwickScreen Can Help

Simulation is an invaluable tool to teach and educate students, staff and patients in a safe, non-threatening environment. 

KwickScreen partition screens are flexible, as well as having interchangeable panels, offer a variety of ways to use and change simulation exercises. The portable nature of the screens and small footprint, means that it is easy to store and move around between locations. 

So the next time you are thinking of creating a simulation environment, remember to use KwickScreens and give us a call today.

How To Create Dementia-Friendly Environments?

Using Partition Screens For Dementia

It is estimated that dementia affects 46.8 million people worldwide, so we believe that creating the right environment is vitally important in order to provide safe care for those living with dementia.

In a study taken by the Alzheimer’s Society, it found that 92% of people said hospital environments were frightening for the person they know who is living with dementia. This needs to change. With 25% of acute beds occupied by people living with dementia, it is crucial that we make hospital environments as comfortable and as stress-free as possible.

KwickScreen partition screens used as a backdrop to create a dementia-friendly environment

KwickScreen partition screens used as a backdrop to create a dementia-friendly environment

Why is it such a frightening environment for those living with dementia?

Imagine you wake up in a room that you do not recognise, surrounded by people you do not
recognise. Whenever you ask where you are, these people start telling you that you are in your bedroom, but you know that this is not your bedroom because you know full well what your bedroom is supposed to look like. So a place you know you are meant to understand, suddenly becomes unfamiliar and can make it even more frightening.

People with dementia experience this on a regular basis, particularly when going to hospital.
Because dementia patients can recall past events better than recent events, they will most likely be able to remember what hospitals used to look like, and as you know, hospitals have come a long way in the last 100 years.

With better and more technology, new processes and systems and even changes to uniforms, modern hospitals can be a very disorientating place for people living with dementia. The way a hospital is designed can also mean that it all looks the same. If they were to go to the bathroom they can easily get lost trying to find their way back. This is because hospital wards have a similar look throughout, as well as the fact that dementia can affect people’s ability to judge distance.

What can you do?

You may be wondering how you can improve your hospital in order to make it a dementia-
friendly environment. There are two simple ways to improve your patient experience: colour and memory lanes or replica villages. Here at KwickScreen, we want to make this as easy as possible by giving you a few handy tips.

Colour

A person living with dementia often struggles differentiating colours with the ability to see
certain colours reduced. This makes the world seem a little more uneasy resulting in anxiety
and a loss of confidence.

By using colours throughout your ward, you can attract or detract attention to certain areas
or items, making it easier for patients to navigate their way around.

High contrast

Using high contrasting colours, it can highlight things that are important. By making it clear for the person living with dementia, it will draw their attention to something that needs not to be missed. For example, food and drink stations help reduce the risk of dehydration and so can be made more obvious with a brightly coloured KwickScreen.

Red is a particularly good colour for identifying significant areas or items, as it is a good colour to enhance memory. Warm colours are also more stimulating than cool colours so are useful when highlighting an area.

At Kwickscreen, we can provide you with colourful screens to make areas clearer. Our portable screens allow areas of importance to be relocated and so reduce confusion amongst those living with dementia.

Low contrast

Alternatively, you may want to prevent residents being attracted to an area, such as staff rooms or cupboards. By using colours which match the background, you can reduce the number of incidents and confusion.

Our plain KwickScreens allow you to create a safer space as part of your dementia-friendly environment.

kwickscreen dementia_1.jpg

Memory lanes or Replica Villages

Memory lanes or replica villages are spaces that are designed to look like places used to be in the past. A study of dementia sufferers at Exeter University in 2009 found that reminiscing boosted memories by an average of 12%, meaning memory lanes or replica villages can be very
useful in helping boost memory of people living with dementia and older people.

They can also be very useful in supporting friends and family. Because some people with dementia can forget their family members, having something to talk about can make it easier for loved ones to maintain a conversation and build relationships.

How do you create a memory lane or replica village?

1. Understand

Understanding the average age of your residents and where they grew up can help you understand what they will remember most. By understanding what kind of world your residents lived in, you can tailor your space to ensure that your residents will get the most out of the memory lane.

2. Create

Once you have done your research and know what your trying to create, it will be easier to create your memory lane or replica village.

Firstly, you need to find a suitable location where your patients or residents can have space to walk or sit and enjoy activities. Next, you’ve got to decide on a background. This is important in order to create a recognisable space ready for people to go to. Here at KwickScreen, you can choose one from a range of our high quality artwork or you can choose to use your own photographs, in order to help you create the perfect printed background.

Backgrounds are perfect to draw attention to your space and encourage people to get involved. You should also consider what kind of activities you may want for people to get involved, as this can influence what the background will look like, ideas include, playing old fashioned games or having a market stall.

3. Interact

These lanes are perfect for creating conversations without constantly asking ‘do you remember this’. You can encourage staff and visitors to share the experience with the person living with dementia by linking it with activities for people to get involved with, or setting times of day to visit the memory lane. This gives everyone something to do, so even if your patient or resident doesn’t want to talk, they can take part in something and feel involved. It also can bring a sense of comfort to dementia patients when taking part in a familiar task, such as playing dominos or knitting.


We helped create a memory lane with the Order of St Johns Care Trust in Westbury Court Gloucestershire. Stephen Moore, the activities coordinator, said “We use KwickScreens as reminiscence backdrops for patients with dementia. The power of the image creates the memory of an environment that they are used to. We use a country kitchen for needlework, cookery and flower arranging sessions and a garden potting shed for gentleman’s skills, handyman and gardening workshops”.

4. Improve

As you use your memory lane, you may find that one thing works better than another. For example, board games encouraged conversations but the pub setting didn’t look like how they remembered.

With KwickScreens, the panels unzip so you can change the background quickly and easily to transform the space into something new. This also means that the cost is kept low because you are not having to consider completely redecorating a room, but still improving patient experience.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with creating dementia-friendly environment for your patients.

Create Immersive Simulation Environments With KwickScreen Partition Screens

Using Partition Screens For Simulation

Imagine your first day as a paramedic, out on the street and faced with a seriously ill or injured person needing your help… can you remember what to do and where to find things in the back of your ambulance? 

Working under pressure seems natural when you are experienced but teaching new staff can be difficult if all you teach is the theory. 

Simulation training provides staff with a safe learning environment in which they can develop skills without the risk of making a detrimental mistake.

We worked with the Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science at Imperial College London to create a ‘Simbulance’. They wanted to create an accurate training environment for paramedics. We worked with them to create a simulation ambulance or ‘Simbulance’, which created a safe environment for them to train and receive feedback before they have to act on live patients. By doing this they are able to continuously improve practices, processes, team work and coordination as well as so much more, especially whilst working in a small space such as an ambulance. 

'Simbulance' in use at King’s College Hospital Simulation Department

'Simbulance' in use at King’s College Hospital Simulation Department

By using portable partition screens KwickScreen our client was able to create an immersive simulation environment in an inexpensive and time saving manner. 

Whereas previously the products they used were made of bulky sheets that did not collapse, the KwickScreen partition screens maintain the accuracy they need whilst also being easier to store and transport between locations. When not in use, the KwickScreen partition screen retracts from 3m back into its own casing, making storage easy and neat. This has enabled them to use their portable Simbulance more frequently and take their training to more places, educating more people in an interactive and memorable way. 

What Is Simulation?

Simulation is the recreation of a situation or a process and can be useful in a multitude of scenarios. KwickScreen partition screens are portable, flexible and with printed high quality images, making it the perfect solution to simulation needs. 

Simulation can be a valuable tool to teach and educate students and staff new processes and training for unusual scenarios. 

Simulation can have many other benefits for all ages, such as helping patients with fears and phobias, or to create a dementia friendly environment to help patient experience. 

KwickScreen Simbulance for the Simulation Suite at Canterbury Christ Church University

KwickScreen Simbulance for the Simulation Suite at Canterbury Christ Church University

Simulation As a Tool For Education And Training:

1. Provides safe learning environment 

Simulation training provides staff with a safe learning environment in which they can develop skills without the risk of making a detrimental mistake. When faced with a situation in the future, they might have a greater ability to deal with small spaces or tricky procedures, in order to keep the patient safe whilst also ensuring what they are performing is done correctly. 

Rather than just teaching staff how to deal with various scenarios verbally, or even with a handbook of instructions, it would be more beneficial to them to learn by doing. Rather than approaching the situation for the first time when there is a life on the line, by practicing the scenario with simulation, they will be able to draw upon this as a ‘past experience’ and make better decisions quicker. 

Imperial College Centre for Engagement & Simulation Science (ICCESS) 'Inside the Simbulance'

Imperial College Centre for Engagement & Simulation Science (ICCESS) 'Inside the Simbulance'

2. Improves teamwork

As well as providing a greater learning experience, using KwickScreen partition screens for simulation can improve the way your staff work together as a team. Because they are able to discuss what they are doing and evaluate how they have done it, it means that they can decide on a common goal and understand each others strengths and weaknesses. 

Simulation can also be fun, especially when it is apart of a training day adding to that excitement. By having a fun experience, it can give the staff a combined memory that will improve their teamwork going forward as they learn more about each other and feel closer.

3. Accelerates learning

Research shows that students who use simulation as part of their education can learn a set of concepts quicker that those who are in a traditional lecture, in which they simply listen to someone at the front of a classroom or hall. By linking theory with practice, they are also able to retain three and a half times as much information as those who do not participate in simulation based learning. 

This does not only apply to students, but all adults learn better experientially, especially when combined with traditional teaching methods. This means that simulation is perfect for those in formal education but also for those who are not. 

The outer part of 'Simbulance' made with KwickScreen partition screens

The outer part of 'Simbulance' made with KwickScreen partition screens

4. Improves other critical skills

Whilst learning the practical skills such as maneuvering, simulation also improves other critical skills, like:

  • Critical and analytical thinking 
  • Ability to anticipate outcomes 
  • Active engagement in conversations, between tutors and students, and between students and their peers
  • Reflection

Simulation is also proven to improve the ability for students to confidently make decisions in the future as they have had the chance to reflect and improve their practice. By developing their confidence, it allows the students to become more independent and will allow them to use their initiative in future scenarios. Simulation is perfect for students who may have to demonstrate these critical skills as part of their degree.

Working With You

With our experience and artwork, we are able to work with you to create the right simulation for you. Whether it is a simulated ambulance, helicopter or a cave for wilderness training, our high-quality imagery can make your immersive experience even more realistic. To make things even better, our zip-out inner panels are easy to change so you can quickly switch between scenarios, even whilst on site.

Read how KwickScreen partition screens provide first-class, real-world simulation scenarios for Buckinghamshire New University students thanks to high-tech equipment here

Read how KwickScreen partition screens provide first-class, real-world simulation scenarios for Buckinghamshire New University students thanks to high-tech equipment here

Simulation Can Also Be Helpful To Patients:

1. Desensitisation for patients

It is estimated that over 10 million people in the UK have a phobia, with hospital related phobias being extremely common, for example, going into a surgery room. Children and young people often experience these phobias and if not dealt with appropriately at these early ages, they can take these fears into adulthood. 

By conquering these fears, they can receive care which otherwise may affect their health, which is why the role that organisations and teams, such as play specialists, take is so important.

One of the ways that play specialists and other healthcare services deal with such phobias, is through de-sensitisation through simulation. 

By creating the ‘feared environment’, they are gradually exposed to the situation in a safe and sensitive environment. It means that children and young people do not have added pressure and can stop whenever they want to, whilst also not being at cost to staff time which could be used to help treat another patient. It allows the children and young people to ask questions and experience their fears in an educated, non-threatening manner. 

Of course, this is not just a quick fix and will be used with other therapy techniques, but KwickScreen can help with this particular side of therapy technique. We can provide you with customisable, and interchangeable screen printings so you can create the most realistic environment, even printing your photographs of specific rooms, so it creates the most effective simulation for helping your patients who suffer from phobias. KwickScreen partition screens are flexible, so you can manipulate how open or enclosed the simulation will be.

2. Dementia friendly areas

Creating memory lanes or replica villages for your ward or accommodation is a great way to use simulation as a tool for dementia friendly design

KwickScreen partition screens used as a backdrop to create a dementia friendly environment

KwickScreen partition screens used as a backdrop to create a dementia friendly environment

Memory lanes or replica villages are spaces that are designed to replicate how places used to look in the past. They can be very useful in supporting people living with dementia and older people living in care homes, adding to their patient experience.

By ensuring the simulation is interactive, it provides everyone with something to do, as well as providing a comfort to dementia patients by doing a familiar task. Your memory lane or replica village could include a café, old fashioned board games or a market stall. 

These lanes can encourage patients to share stories and relive happy memories, but also provides a way to start a new conversation about the activity they are doing. Dementia friendly simulation techniques are a useful way to create conversations between patients, residents and visitors, without constantly asking ‘do you remember this’. 

By using KwickScreen partition screens, you can create a realistic background to your space, with the ability to change it as necessary. We can create a unique background for your local area, so depending on your patients, location and time they remember, the partition screens KwickScreen can provide the most relevant background to your dementia friendly simulation.

 Immersive simulation environment made with KwickScreen partition screens

 Immersive simulation environment made with KwickScreen partition screens

A Summary Of How We Can Help

KwickScreens are a versatile partition screens which can be used to create various simulation exercises. The high quality photography will make your activity even more realistic. Simulation is a valuable tool to teach and educate students, staff and patients in a safe, non-threatening environment. KwickScreen partition screens are flexible, as well as having interchangeable panels, so offer a variety of ways to use and change simulation exercises, perfect if you are attending a conference. The portable nature of the screens and small footprint, means that it is easy to store and move around between locations. 

So the next time you are thinking of creating a simulation environment, remember to use KwickScreens and give us a call today.

Hospital Fines Add Up To Hundreds of Thousand Pounds For Mixed Sex Accommodation Breaches

Mixed Sex Accommodation - costly problem for hospitals

Mixed sex accommodation breaches are causing problems across the NHS for many departments, with real financial penalties of thousands of pounds being incurred each month.

In November 2010 the Chief Nursing Officer and Deputy NHS Chief Executive imposed new rules on NHS in order to eliminate mixed sex accommodation in hospitals. From April 2011 the fine of £250 per patient per breach per day was introduced to ensure compliance.

All breach cases are being reported and published in monthly disclosures on NHS England website to help patients decide which hospital to choose.

Facts About Mixed Sex Accommodation - Infographic

Please pin the below picture to help spread awareness about mixed sex accommodation.

Costly Consequences of Mixed Sex Accommodation

The latest report from March 2017 indicates a total number of 776 breaches of mixed sex accommodation in NHS England. The highest number of breaches in one hospital came up to 195, which taking into account the £250 fine per breach, would indicate that the hospital was fined in a single month the whooping £48,750.

The majority of Trusts can ill afford to pay out for these real, chargeable bills. As a consequence hospitals are faced with a necessity for costly wards reconstructions, building new walls or even ward relocations. In some cases patients operations and admissions are being cancelled.

Cost Effective Solution - Privacy Screens

A new and cost effective solution to mixed sex accommodation is KwickScreen - a portable retractable hospital privacy screen that can be fixed permanently to the wall or be portable on wheels. It can be quickly positioned between beds where men and women are beside each other.

Original guidance on mixed sex accommodation separation requires a floor to ceiling, fixed partition. However, Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have since been permitted to exercise judgement in numerous situations where this costly solution is either impractical (most hospitals don’t have budget or space) or planned but not yet built. As a result many inspectors pass privacy screens KwickScreen as a compliant solution.

Privacy screens KwickScreen at Tameside Hospital New Macmillan Unit - The Chemotherapy Treatment Room

Privacy screens KwickScreen at Tameside Hospital New Macmillan Unit - The Chemotherapy Treatment Room

Cost wise, unlike other solutions such as building walls and ward relocations, privacy screen KwickScreen should pay for itself within a month. Due to the size of the fines (£250 per patient per breach per day) it represents a clear cost saving to the many Trusts facing breach situations.

Developed on the NHS Design Bugs Out programme, hospital privacy screens KwickScreen are already used by over 90% NHS Trusts to combat challenges faced in Infection Control, Privacy and Dignity and Space Management cases. Privacy screen KwickScreen features the smallest storage footprint from all the privacy screens on the market, has passed all infection control clinical trials, is flexible and extremely practical.

Privacy screens KwickScreen have been successfully used to address mixed sex accommodation breaches at a number of Trusts including:

• Cambridge University Hospitals NHS FT

• The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

• Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust

• Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust

• North West London Hospitals NHS Trust

• Epsom & St Helier Hospitals NHS Trust

• Russells Hall Hospital

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with space management.