Art is defined as the human creation of beautiful or thought provoking works. Nature is the expression and spirit of creation beyond the human influence. Therapeutic Environmental Solutions (TESS) works to create a bridge between the two, using photographic art of large scale panoramic nature scenes displayed in all divisions of healthcare facilities.

A rapidly emerging movement throughout the global medical market is dramatically transforming both the plans and designs of hospital facilities. Hospitals addressing the body, mind, and spirit of patients offer them a wider strategy for healing, and giving the facility a competitive edge. Design that introduces the spirit of nature into the healthcare model crosses the boundaries of both language and creed, making it universally accessible for everyone, anywhere.

Already well known as a purveyor of backlit Views to Nature for hospitals and freestanding centers within the United States, TESS continues to expand its influence internationally. Installed in hospitals, cancer centers, radiology divisions, and MRI centers in South Korea, Mexico, the UK, Europe, and the Caribbean, the TESS products are recognized as value-added expressions of “biophilic design.” The term, derived from Edward O. Wilson's term “biophilia,” is the innate human attraction to nature incorporating real or simulated natural elements in an effort to promote well-being.

Ernesto Machado, President and Founder of TESS, says, “Creating a ‘healing environment’ implies that the environment is therapeutic and therefore a part of patients' inclusive healing process. Nature is universally understood and appreciated. As countries move to revitalize and distinguish their facilities, our programs become an effective and cost-efficient means of creating a pleasurable treatment setting for patients, families, and staff.”

Last fall, TESS was represented at the unveiling of a state-of-the-art nuclear medicine department at Azienda Ospedaliera G Brotzu Hospital, Calgliari, Sardinia, Italy. Through the combined vision of Chief Engineer and Head of Facility Operations Gianluca Borelli and Director of Nuclear Medicine Dr. Livia Ruffini, the hospital installed a large TESS skylight in their PET suite and multiple TESS Virtual Windows in front of each reclining chair where patients receive treatment (figure 1).

Courtesy of G Brotzu Hospital, Calgliari, Sardinia, Italy

Borelli says, “Everyone has been amazed at the transformation that these nature views provide to the environment. Now all the divisions want them.” Dr. Ruffini comments, “The panels were used to create a warm and welcoming environment for patients and family members. Everyone says they feel less stress, and thus the environment promotes wellness.”

In July 2007, TESS, in conjunction with their new Italian distributor, Seagull Medica of Bolzano, Italy, installed five 6-foot-diameter circular TESS Virtual Skylights and 10 TESS Virtual Window Units for the renovations undertaken at Casa di Cura Abano Terme Clinic. Located in Padova, Italy, this state-of-the-art birthing center is uniquely known for using water delivery in large birthing tubs (figure 2).

Courtesy of Casa di Cura Abano Terme Clinic

Dr. Petruzzi, the owner of the facility, says, “It has been proven that labor and delivery in water is beneficial and is more and more in demand—it offers a calm setting and pain relievers are reduced. We wanted to use large birthing tubs in our delivery rooms to help create a relaxed ambiance, which was added to by the TESS backlit nature views.” Giancarlo Bonifacci, President and owner of Seagull Medica, a company focused on creating unique birthing suites, was excited by the responses he received at Abano Terme and is now introducing the TESS programs to all healthcare divisions throughout Italy.

At Queen's University Medical Center, in Nottingham, England, two TESS 4′ × 4′ MRI-EL units were installed—one Virtual Skylight and one Virtual Window. TESS has two distinct, revolutionary nonferrous MRI systems. Both the TESS MRI-EL system and the TESS MRI-LED system have a one-inch profile.

At Unidad de Oncologia/Puebla Cancer Treatment Center in Puebla, Mexico, Coorporacion Constructor Mexicano SA de CV, under the talented eye of Arquitecto Jaime Peralta Garcia, installed two 6′ × 6′ TESS Virtual Skylights of blue sky with overhanging trees above its linear accelerator and CT suites. Along the maze wall, it installed a 4′ ′ 7′ TESS Virtual Window depicting a beautiful garden and fountain scene, with built-out window boxes full of similar flowers in front of the unit (figure 3).

Courtesy of Unidad de Oncologia/Puebla Cancer Treatment Center

Recently the largest private healthcare developer in the Middle East and Africa, the Saudi German Hospital Group, has specified TESS systems into eight of its hospital renovations. Based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this company designs, builds, and owns 20 world class hospitals.

Worldwide, case studies of evidence-based design and patient recuperative times have shown views of art and nature to be essential. “Bringing the outside in” reflects that the art in nature and the nature of art can uplift the clinical setting, giving a sense of tranquility to patients and affordable, health-giving solutions to administrators. TESS continues to advance its product lines to meet the sensitivities of patients encountering newly developing medical technology. HD

For further information on TESS programs, visit http://www.tessusainc.com. To comment on this article, please visit http://healthcaredesi.wpengine.com.