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Consider a Theme when Designing Your Waiting Area – It could even save you Money

When re-designing your waiting area it is definitely worth considering following a theme such as Underwater, Space, Jungle or Transportation. A recent Study published in Radiology Daily (see below) has shown that by using colourful and playful theming, it reduces anxiety levels which in turn can reduce amounts spent on sedation and medicines allowing patients and visitors to enjoy their time spent in otherwise stressful environments. It also works in retail and commercial environments when anxiety levels can rise due to unexpected delays both for adults and children.

Adventure-Theme Radiology Rooms Calm Kids

May 29, 2012

Written by: Steve Millburg, Filed in: Diagnostic Imaging, Nuclear Medicine, Pediatric Radiology, Practice Management

“The colorful murals and playful theming in the radiology rooms at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC have a purpose besides just looking cheery. They save the hospital money.

Nine rooms have an Adventure Series theme. Visiting an MRI room means taking a trip to Outer Space. A nuclear medicine room has a jungle look, and a CT room is Pirate Island, where patients—and sometimes the hospital staff—wear pirate hats.

The radiation therapy room is called Adventure Beach. An oxygen tank resembles a scuba tank and the linear accelerator is decorated as a sand castle.

Sure, it’s a little silly, but kids love it. And when kids relax, they don’t have to be sedated as often to get through their scans or therapy.

Giving each room a theme—Coral City, Cozy Camp, etc.—costs $35,000 to $45,000, said Kathleen Kapsin, administrative director for the radiology department. But it pays off financially “through the sedation reduction and increased efficiencies with work flow,” she told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for a story published Monday.

The distraction therapy idea started before the hospital moved into its current building in 2009. The radiology staff discovered that such touches as a mural, interactive toys, and patient rewards reduced the number of young patients who needed sedating. So Children’s teamed with GE Healthcare and the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in Milwaukee to build the Adventure Series theme into the new building’s radiology rooms.

The rooms feature music composed by a former musical therapist, plus DVD players and even aromatherapy. Cozy Camp, for example, has a woodsy smell. So, according to Kapsin:

Instead of going to CT scans, the patient was going to Cozy Camp. If we can change their anxiety, a child wants to come here.

According to the hospital, in fiscal year 2009 it saw 28,497 patients in radiology and sedated 19.6 percent of them. In fiscal year 2011, it saw 47,309 patients and had to sedate only 14 percent”


If you feel that your environment could benefit from some colourful activity wall panels and tables to keep kids and adults alike entertained please see our website for more information.

One of our most popular themed products is the submarine wall panel which is great for brightening up a dull wall and keeping kids entertained at the same time. We also have seating and activity tables, a sea life activity cube plus sea life mirrors and enclosed sand tables to complete the theme.

For fun, colourful, stimulating, great value products for your waiting area, visit www.toysfortime.com

Jane Blackmore
Owner Toys for Time Ltd (UK)
Tel: 01359 231154
Email: jane@toysfortime.co.uk 



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About Toys For Time

Toys for Time provide activity tables, wall panels, activity cubes and soft furnishings, both internal and outdoor. We supply hospitals, councils, retail, leisure and educational facilities in the UK and abroad from our base in Bury St. Edmunds.

We specialise in providing the very best and widest range of child-friendly activity products for businesses and commercial premises.