Healthcare is important in our lives. Many times, in our lives, we find ourselves in need of healthcare, for simple infections and also more complex ones that need specialized care.
Lighting in health facilities plays a crucial role in ensuring that patients get the best care needed for their well-being and quick recovery in a conducive and less stressful environment.
Research has shown that light intensity and quality are not only important to patients in healthcare facilities but also the health care providers.
Healthcare facilities also have different departments or areas that require specialized lighting for maximum performance.
Lighting and Healthcare Providers
Light has varying wavelengths. Lighting that provides light that has a wavelength range that the photoreceptors of the eye can absorb is the best in a sector that is very important to humanity. The eyes easily accommodate such light and as well such light is easy on the body. A light that is neither too dull nor excessively bright.
Healthcare providers perform a range of activities, ranging from charting, filling prescriptions, administering medications well as other important patient care activities.
Without proper lighting in their environment, errors, as well as sub-quality performance, can happen and that is why proper lighting for hospitals and healthcare facilities is very important.
Delicate procedures such as surgeries require perfect lighting as the slightest visual hindrance and unclarity can cause undesired outcomes and even complications.
Healthcare providers work on both shifts, night and day shifts, and the internal rhythms of the body should match the workday rhythms. If this does not happen because of improper lighting, then such workers can easily feel drowsy, tired, and even distracted from work, leading to reduced productivity. Such workers therefore cannot perform during the night shift.
We can solve this problem by using the right lighting in the health facilities. This is because light activates the pineal gland, leading to the suppression of melatonin, which results in high activity and energy levels. This helps the healthcare providers adjust to night shifts. Therefore, health care providers deliver quality services to their patients.
Also, high-quality lighting is necessary to create a well-light emergency room environment that allows healthcare providers to handle the patients accurately and quickly.
Lighting and the Patients
Does lighting play a role in the recovery of patients? Yes. Studies conducted on this have proved so.
First, right from the visit to the hospital, patients need good lighting to enable ease in their movement in the healthcare facility. At the reception, they require patients to fill in forms and the lighting in this place should be adequate.
Bright light reduces the production of melatonin, which benefits patients with depression by reducing depression. Research has also found other patients suffering from other conditions recover sooner when exposed to the right light intensity than their counterparts in dull and not-well-lit rooms.
Good quality light is important in the recovery process of patients. A healthcare facility that has a relaxing atmosphere provides an environment suitable for the quick recovery of the patients.
A lighting system that is adjustable in terms of light intensity is important in a healthcare facility. This is especially so because some patients require less light, for example, neonatal infants. These infants have yet to develop the proper biological mechanisms for light adaptation and therefore exposure to the wrong light intensity may lead to retinal complications.
Lighting in Various Areas in the Healthcare Facility
Healthcare Facility Outdoor Lighting
The lighting outside the healthcare facility, which includes areas such as the entrance and exits, the pavements, and the parking lot, plays an important role in creating a warm, welcoming environment for the patients. It also minimizes accidents that happen because of unclear vision.
The outpatient lobby contains most of the healthcare facility activities, ranging from registration filing and consultation services. The lighting here is an important factor to consider for both patients and healthcare providers.
It should be well lit to provide a smooth integration of both natural and artificial lighting to prevent visual discomfort.
General Inspection and Laboratory Sections
These are areas that need enough lighting for observation. The lighting here needs to be bright enough and without glare.
Physiological examination rooms also need to have relaxed lighting that will create a comfortable environment for patients and provide enough lighting for the healthcare providers.
Some specialized instruments are sensitive to light intensity and therefore need consideration when providing a lighting plan for a health facility. Rooms such as the Ophthalmic examination room and the Radiological inspection room are also light sensitive.
This is a place that requires consideration in lighting since a wide range of drugs are quite similar, with very few differences. Also, some drug labeling fonts are quite small and the pharmacists need to work quickly with accuracy. It would be life-threatening to give the wrong medication, right?
This area requires different lighting conditions for the patients and the healthcare providers. The patients require lighting that will enable them to get enough rest, which contributes to recovery.
The health providers need a light that will help them see and monitor the patients and the equipment in these areas. There should be soft lighting that creates a calm environment for the patients.
The Nurse Station
The Nurse station provides medical services to the hospital and is in the center of the ward; the light here plays a key role. Proper lighting here will enable the healthcare providers to deliver the desired services.
Surgery and Clean Area
The operating room is one of the most important places in the healthcare facility and requires good lighting, similar to the maternity and neonatal room, the delicate intensive care unit, the hemodialysis room, and the cleanroom. The healthcare providers perform very sensitive procedures that need sufficient lighting.
It is quite clear that sourcing for the right lighting in health facilities plays a critical role in quality service delivery and also quick recovery of patients.