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The Differential

Hospital Aesthetics Committee

Sung Woo Koh, Medical Student, 10:12PM Oct 18, 2017

MS4, Chicago Medical School

I am currently rotating at a beautiful medical center. Apparently, this hospital has an aesthetics committee that decides how the hospital looks. For example, signs on patient doors need to be put up in a certain way, using those 3M poster strips. The nurses had to take down a bunch of items from the board on one side of the nursing station because of the aesthetics committee's orders. The funny thing was that, on just the other side of the room, they had a similar board with a bunch of items that were deemed not ok on the other side. The committee also apparently determines how the patients' rooms look and so on.

To be fair, all of this is second-hand information I heard from nurses and hospital staff. I've never met the hospital aesthetics committee or received their orders myself. The mysterious thing is that nobody I've talked to seemed to know who the aesthetics committee is. They know they exist and that they give orders on how to keep the hospital aesthetically pleasing. 

What exactly is their scope of practice? Is everything limited to visual aesthetics? What about sound, smell, touch, and other factors that goes into what makes a hospital beautiful? Who is involved in this committee, and how do they carry out their duties if nobody has seen them in action? Are they full-time staff solely dedicated to the aesthetics of the hospital or are they regular hospital staff who spend a fraction of their duty hours in this committees? How is one deemed qualified for this committee?

Although I have many questions about the workings of the aesthetics committee (as well as their existence), I believe they must exist. The hospital looks pretty amazing, and a beautiful facility must point towards the existence of its creator. In contrast, many hospitals I have rotated at most likely do not have an aesthetics committee (or they aren't very good at their job). Maybe someday I'll rise up to adminstrative positions in whatever hospital I work at and encounter an aesthetics committee. I'll collect more information about them and maybe infiltrate myself into the committee itself! This plan may take several decades, but I'll be sure to write a blog post about it when I get there...

Have you heard anything about a hospital aesthetics committee at your institution? Do you even believe they exist? Is anybody from a hospital aesthetics committee reading this post right now?

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