Although some might be inclined to dismiss the arts as a triviality, luxury, or unjustified expense in a time of concern over rising health care costs, research is showing that use of the arts in health care can be cost-effective. For example, a recent study done at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare demonstrated that using music therapy when preparing children for CT scans significantly reduced use of sedative medications, associated overnight stays, and nurse time, and resulted in a cost savings of $567 per procedure.1 It also decreased the need for repeat CTs because of poor-quality scans. When extrapolating those numbers to all pediatric CT scans done in the United States, researchers estimated a potential savings of $2.25 billion per year.2 Such findings support the business case for adopting arts programming in health care facilities and practices. But there are other reasons why physicians, educators, and health care administrators should become advocates for incorporating the arts in medicine.
1. Studying the arts makes medical students into better doctors.
2. The arts have therapeutic benefits.
3. The arts can help prevent disease.
4. The arts can improve the patient experience.
5. The arts can promote physician well-being.
Why We Need the Arts in Medicine
January 5, 2015 | 0 Comments
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Gary Christenson, M.D.
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"Why We Need the Arts in Medicine: Studies show that incorporating the arts can save money, improve the patient experience—and do a lot more."