Transforming the Healthcare Experience through the Arts Provides a New Dimension to the Health-Reform Debate
New book shows low-cost, high-impact ways to achieve crucial healthcare goals
With compelling human stories, research-based evidence, and pragmatic advice, “Transforming the Healthcare Experience through the Arts”, takes readers inside the process of creating healthcare organizations that honor the best in the human spirit and uplift the healthcare experience for patients, family members, visitors, and staff.
The book’s authors, former hospital President and CEO Blair L. Sadler and well known arts consultant Annette Ridenour, demonstrate how arts projects and programs provide low-cost, high-impact ways to accomplish many of the highest-priority goals of any healthcare organization.
“Right now, as healthcare reform is occupying so much attention, using the arts offers a great opportunity for healthcare leaders to increase patient satisfaction, improve quality, reduce pain and anxiety, and differentiate their organizations in the marketplace,” said co-author Blair L. Sadler.
Expanded and deepened by commentaries from four healthcare luminaries—Donald Berwick, Anita Boles, Leland Kaiser, and Roger Ulrich—“Transforming the Healthcare Experience through the Arts” includes:
- Four concise chapters on the roles of artists and the arts in healthcare, including a CEO’s perspective and a practical nine step guide for arts program implementation;
- 36 case examples of exemplary healthcare arts projects and programs;
- Research findings showing how the arts decrease pain, reduce stress, improve mood, and accomplish many other vital purposes;
- Extensive listings of contact information for artists, healthcare organizations, and arts-in-healthcare organizations.
The 36 case examples of arts projects in “Transforming the Healthcare Experience through the Arts” are divided into seven sections, addressing hospitalized patients, children, seniors, cancer patients, adolescents, public education, and healing from tragedy. They include a program that reduces pain and anxiety for children in hospital waiting rooms; art-making projects that reduce stress and depression among family caregivers of cancer patients; a singing-and-songwriting program at a residential home for seniors; and a broad effort using the arts to help Hurricane Katrina evacuees regain their sense of hope and direction.
Co-author Annette Ridenour said, “Through the examples in this book we are asking readers to imagine what it would be like, in terms of reducing suffering and helping people to thrive, if the best arts programs were used in all healthcare facilities.”
Ridenour founded her company, Aesthetics, Inc. forty years ago to help organizations create true healing environments through the arts; she is a recognized leader, consultant, and lecturer on evidence-based regional arts programs that reflect the vision and values of healthcare organizations.
As President and CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego from 1980 to 2006, co-author Blair L. Sadler introduced many breakthrough arts innovations, often in conjunction with Ridenour’s firm. Sadler is now a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and a member of the faculty of the School of Medicine and the Rady school of management at the University of California—San Diego.
“Transforming the Healthcare Experience through the Arts” has been richly praised by a broad cross-section of healthcare providers, nonprofit leaders, and academic experts. Dr. Susan Frampton, President of the Planetree organization, said “This book is an indispensable compendium of wonderful ideas and resources, a must-have”; and health futurist Leland Kaiser called it “a work that is destined to become a classic in the literature of healthcare.” Dr. Donald M. Berwick, President of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, said “This deeply important book will broaden your horizons and lift your spirits.”
Summarizing the book’s guiding theme, co-author Blair L. Sadler said, “The days of depersonalized, frightening, noisy, and confusing care environments are numbered. Today’s foresighted healthcare leaders are freed to honor the full panoply of human aspiration, as expressed through the arts, within their institutions’ activities and their physical designs. Doing so will benefit patients and their loved ones as it strengthens the healthcare organizations themselves.”
With co-author Annette Ridenour, Sadler founded the Blair L. Sadler International Healing Arts Competition, administered in partnership with the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, which recognized innovative arts programs with demonstrated effectiveness.
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This deeply important and inspiring book will broaden your horizons and lift your spirits.” -Donald Berwick, President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
“A compelling journey into the healing power of art. A beautiful book physically and in the inspiring story it tells.” –Leonard L. Berry, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Marketing, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University
“Ridenour and Sadler’s book is an indispensable compendium of wonderful ideas and resources to assist healthcare organizations in successfully planning and implementing transformative arts programs. It is a must-have!” –Susan B. Frampton, Ph.D., President, Planetree