Exceptional Programs That Are Improving Patient Care

When it comes to exceptional patient care, sometimes looking beyond protocol is what sets one healthcare facility apart from another. In addition to top-notch nursing and physician care, facilities that offer additional programs — pet therapy, arts therapy, etc. — can provide everything from faster patient healing to enhanced quality of life for a hospice patient’s remaining days.

There are so many wonderful programs available at various healthcare and assisted living facilities across the United States, and today we’re excited to spotlight a few options that incorporate everything from butterflies to creative arts, all in the name of improved patient care.

9 Exceptional Programs That Enhance Patient Care


Boston Children’s Hospital — Boston, MA

For younger patients who are confined to the hospital and even some outpatient guests, a visit from a Pawprints dog may be just what the doctor ordered. With physician approval as well as the greenlight from the patient’s parent or guardian, patients at Boston Children’s Hospital can enjoy a short 5- to 10-minute visit with a Pawprint program dog. The dog interacts as much as the patient would like, staying on the floor, in a chair next to the bed, or even on the patient’s bed. The Pawprints program is made possible in part by the Boston Children’s League, whose mission it is to support the hope and healing of Boston Children’s patients.

Paws Can Heal

Phoenix Children’s Hospital — Phoenix, AZ

For pint-sized patients at Phoenix Children’s, the Paws Can Heal program has been proven to bring added benefits to those who it serves. The proven benefits include everything from motivation to reduced stress. Patients can play with a Paws Can Heal-certified dog, which can provide encouragement to participate in required therapeutic programs, improve moods, offer a distraction from their cause of hospitalization and provide that extra push that may be needed to overcome something with which they’re struggling. The Paws Can Heal dogs are available for group activities as well as bedside visits, which are scheduled by the patient’s caregiving team of doctors and therapists.

Butterflies at Silverado

Silverado Memory Care Community — Escondido, CA

The Silverado Memory Care Community in Escondido has a unique form of therapy that is offered to patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia who are nearing the end of life. Chaplain Frank Modic raises Monarch butterflies at his home, and when the butterflies complete their metamorphosis, he brings them to Silverado. Patients there, who have little memory of their history, have show signs of joy and sparks of life that their loved ones and care staff don’t see very often. This story on the the butterflies and Chaplain Modic is evidence of how nature, compassion and interaction stimulate and bring happiness to those who are ailing.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Paradigm Malibu — Malibu, CA

For teens at Paradigm Malibu who struggle with mental health disorders or substance abuse issues, the Animal Assisted Therapy program is a tremendous resource. Whether struggling with autism, anxiety or depression, the teens’ work with the animals is proven to help with interactive skills, improving communication and social skills while gaining confidence and decreasing stress and anxiety.

Credit: Paradigm Malibu

Credit: Paradigm Malibu

Music in the Clinic Program

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center — Nashville, TN

Given that Nashville is known as Music City, it would stand to reason that a program like Music in the Clinic exists there. Patients at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center can enjoy beautiful music performances by world-renowned musicians who volunteer their time for the program. Everyone from country stars to the Nashville Symphony to students at Vanderbilt’s renowned Blair School of Music take part in this compassionate arts volunteer opportunity, which is said to bring a sense of joy and calm to patients there.

Arts in Healing

University of Washington Medical Center — Seattle, WA

Patients of all ages and reasons for hospitalization have access to the Arts in Healing program at the University of Washington Medical Center. The program is provided on both a group or individual basis and offers an opportunity for patients to explore creative expression as both a means to work through emotions, ignite a creative spark or simply to take their mind off of their current health status. Arts therapy is proven to help reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem, helping the patient achieve a greater sense of control at a time when they may not have much.  

Creative Arts Therapy

Children’s Hospital Colorado — Aurora, CO

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, patients who are trying to work through emotional challenges and psychological issues have the benefit of the hospital’s Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program. Designed to provide a creative outlet, the program offers music, art, movement and yoga therapy programs. With group, family and individual sessions, the Creative Arts Therapy program utilizes top-notch equipment and facilities to help children with things like stress and pain management, sensory and environmental stimulation, social and cognitive invogoration and relaxation. The practices are designed to complement the traditional treatments the patients receive, and when used together, the patient thrives, better equipped mentally and physically to heal.

Yoga therapy's benefits include reduced anxiety. Credit: Children's Hospital Colorado

Yoga therapy's benefits include reduced anxiety. Credit: Children's Hospital Colorado

Bedside Music Therapy

University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital — San Francisco, CA

Part of the Child’s Life Creative Arts Program, the bedside music therapy option at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital is one that brings the soothing sounds of music to inpatients. But it’s more than just music. The program is based on research in music and medicine and is then administered to provide joy as well as benefits like pain relief, stress reduction, improved relaxation and resilience. Patients can partake in playing instruments and singing, or they can simply enjoy the sounds. For the tiniest of patients, the music therapy program is also used in the intensive care nursery to help newborns sleep, acclimate to life outside the womb, gain weight and bond with their parents.

Orlando Health Pet Therapy Program

Orlando Health — Orlando, FL

Orlando Health’s Pet Therapy program launched in 1991, and it is now at all Orlando Health campuses. With 60 pet therapy teams that make more than 50,000 pet therapy visits each year, the program allows a well-trained crew of canines to visit with patients of all ages who are in the facilities for various reasons.

If you're ready to find a healthcare position at an exceptional healthcare facility that values its patients and its employees, peruse the the open positions on Relode.com.