From OW to WOW – Transforming the Patient Experience Through Black Light

At the Clinical Laboratory Meeting Association 2015 annual meeting in Orlando, Fla, two men stood at a podium in a booth that had a small curtained room in the back - the OW to WOW demonstration room. The simplicity of the booth was intriguing. It didn’t look like the setup for the demonstration of a laboratory product. The newness of the product and weak marketing made it unclear what the product actually was.

First, what is it? Is it really a product? Well, sort of. It is a concept of using black light and murals in a blood-draw station to transform a bad, traumatic or painful blood-draw experience into something good, fun or, I guess, WOW. The company will evaluate the client’s room, install black lighting and work with an artist to change the paint on the wall of the room. The theory is that patients see the lighted room as usual while getting their blood drawn, and then when the draw is complete, the black lights come on along with a soothing feeling with transformed and different images in the room. The patient is transformed from feeling very bad to very good with the quick change of scenery and black lighting. Cost depends on the number and size of the rooms, detail of the painting and the number of black lights. According to Jerry Gregory, Vice President of OW to WOW, the average cost of an average room is $8,000 to have a transformed drawing room, to go from OW to WOW.

Mural before the blood draw

Mural Before Black Light

Mural after the blood draw

Mural After Black Light

The real question is whether the concept actually works in application. When asked, Vice President Jerry Gregory did not know of any existing studies that support the concept. In spite of the lack of users and a lack of literature sources, this concept piqued the interest of laboratorians at the convention. It’s something new, something on the edge, something bordering on high-tech. It is a new concept that does make one wonder.

Because the healthcare industry cares deeply about patient satisfaction, this concept just might take off. Mr. Gregory indicated that some large tertiary care facilities were interested in the concept. Children’s hospitals and facilities with high pediatric populations should give this one a look. They might just experience OW to WOW.


Dennis Matricardi, MS, SM(ASCP)DLM
Dennis Matricardi, MS, SM(ASCP)DLM, Clinical Analyst — At MD Buyline, Mr. Matricardi is responsible for laboratory and pharmacy. He has over 30 years of hospital-based laboratory experience with a strong specialization in infectious disease and experience running microbiology and infection control programs. Mr. Matricardi received his Bachelor of Science in microbiology from Ohio State University and Master of Science in management/health systems administration from the University of Akron. He is registered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology as a Specialist in Microbiology and a Diplomat in Laboratory Management.