Improving patient and visitor experience


The use of scent in the healthcare industry has been widely recognized for its ability to improve how patients and visitors feel. To create a more relaxing environment for patients and staff, Healthcare facilities turn to the most powerful of all human senses - smell.

Research has shown that the way a space smells has a strong effect on the way people perceive it. Scent has a positive effect on patient perceptions of service quality, cleanliness, and personal wellness. A scented environment can help patients feel happy and relaxed.

Benefits of scenting Healthcare facilities include:

  • Scent affects emotions and is able to induce feelings of calm reducing tension and anxiety.
  • Improves perceptions of service quality and cleanliness.
  • Creates positive experience for patient / residents of care facilities.

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Vanilla has been used in MRI facilities to decrease claustrophobia and tension. A Florida facility saw a significant decrease in the number of people who needed sedation, and had a 50% decrease in cancellations.

Additional research also shows that the smell or flavor of peppermint can have profound effects on cognitive functions. These include reasoning, problem solving, concept formation, judgment, attention span, and even memory.

When Vanderbilt Hospital decided to use ambient scent in its emergency room, they were shocked at how effective it was. Before the scent was used, 41% of emergency room nurses and doctors felt stressed; after the scent was introduced, this number dropped to only 3%. They also tested how frustrated employees felt and saw a similar precipitous drop. Before scent, 60% felt frustrated and after, only 6%. When asked, 84% of nurses and doctors said they strongly agree that the scent contributed to a positive work environment.

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