Crafting Comfort | The Power of art in Healthcare

June 17, 2024


In the realm of healthcare, where stress and anxiety can often overshadow hope and healing, creating soothing and supportive environments is crucial. Artwork plays a transformative role in shaping the atmosphere of hospitals and medical facilities, offering patients, staff, and visitors a sense of comfort and connection. 

 Art in healthcare settings creates positive distractions and fosters healing experiences. Studies have shown that artwork can significantly impact patient outcomes and overall well-being. Artwork focused on nature or familiar landmarks, for instance, has been found to reduce stress levels and the need for pain medication1


MercyOne Comfort Health Center | Waiting Room

According to a qualitative assessment of the Exeter Healthcare Arts Project, incorporating visual arts within the hospital environment was universally recognized as uplifting by patients, staff, and visitors. Forty-three percent of frontline clinical staff agreed that art positively impacts healing, and 24% observed improved clinical outcomes attributed to artistic interventions1.

The use of artwork extends beyond patient care to encompass the well-being of healthcare professionals. Incorporating art into staff areas and workspaces can promote a positive work environment and reduce employee stress1. This results in better quality of care provided to patients. 


MercyOne Comfort Health Center | Exam and Diagnostic Spaces

MercyOne Comfort Health Center for Women prioritizes the patient experience by strategically integrating art. With a thoughtful selection of artwork primarily designed by women for women, the center aims to create a serene and welcoming environment for women seeking medical care. The facility showcases artwork and prints in many different patient and staff spaces.

MercyOne Comfort Health Center | Entryway Artwork 

Our team worked with a local artist, Paula Schuette Kraemer, and a local gallery, Liz Lidgett Gallery and Design, to coordinate large-scale prints of Kraemer’s art for the entryway. The original artwork went to a Chicago print shop for high-resolution scanning to preserve the quality. This ensured that even when enlarged to nearly 18 feet, the art would retain its sharpness and detail.


Exchanging Butterflies | Paula Schuette Kraemer

The Hand Game | Paula Schuette Kraemer 

The piece titled Exchanging Butterflies” symbolizes feelings of anxiety and the weight of carrying others’ burdens. Kraemer’s other piece, titled The Hand Game,” pays tribute to her mother and a cherished childhood game they played together. 

Kraemer’s artwork in the MercyOne Comfort Health Center for Women conveys themes of empathy, strength, and empowerment — attributes essential for women navigating their healthcare journeys. 



By strategically integrating artwork that resonates with patients, supports staff well-being, and aligns with evidence-based design principles, healthcare institutions can cultivate spaces that promote healing, comfort, and connection. The MercyOne Comfort Health Center is a great example of the transformative impact of artwork in healthcare, offering a blueprint for designing compassionate and holistic healing environments for all.