top of page

Treating Healthcare Environments with Powerful Colors

We’ve talked before about the importance of choosing the right colors for your office setting as hues can conjure many different emotions for your visitors and staff. Within the healthcare environment, color becomes an even greater consideration as it can actually affect patients’ medical outcomes.

It has been proven time and again that how we feel affects our health. So it only makes sense that how we feel as we are being treated or tested for an illness could make a difference in how fast we recover. Color, as it turns out can have a resounding impact at all stages of care.

“Research reveals that people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.” – CCICOLOR: Institute for Color Research

Also, according to the 2004 report titled, “The Role of the Physical Environment in the 21st Century Hospital,” the research team found rigorous studies that link physical environment to patient and staff outcomes in 4 areas:

  1. Reduce staff stress and fatigue and increase effectiveness in delivering care

  2. Improve patient safety

  3. Reduce stress and improve outcomes

  4. Improve overall healthcare quality

KI and Pallas Textiles teamed up to take this concept a bit further. In their collaborative whitepaper, The Power of Color in the Healthcare Environment, they mention other confirming studies specific to color application and healing. Together they researched and developed a holistic understanding of color on the healing process.


Their findings suggest we should mix and use color as close to how it is found in nature, as possible. The following list of colors summarizes the meaning of each color group. For more on the effect these colors can have on the body and healing processes, check out the whitepaper. It’s a must read!

Light Cool Neutrals ­– Clean

Dark Cool NeutralsClean

Earth Tones/Light and Dark NeutralsGrounding


Orange Energetic

Red Bold

Pink Soothing

Purple Meditative

Green Balanced

Turquoise Refreshing

Blue Calm

KI also provided four examples of real-life applications:

  1. Radiology – Colors that promote relaxation make patients calmer. Because they move less as tests are run, the imaging quality is higher providing the physician with more accurate results.

  2. Pediatric – soothing yet interesting colors can create a warm and inviting atmosphere that ultimately reduces stress for both the child as well as the person with them.

  3. Elder care – the use of light and warm colors such as orange and red can actually improve visual acuity in poorly lit environments.

  4. Critical care units – blues, greens and purples have healing and calming influences and are considered stress-reducing colorsDo you consider color a top priority when choosing the furnishings for a healthcare facility?

Original article by BI Watercooler, the voice of Business Interiors, Inc., Alabama's leading contract furniture dealership.

Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page