Apparently, rather than spend a lot of money on the back-end with patient satisfaction initiatives, all you really need is soothing artwork in your ED waiting room.
This is a rather simple, prospective cohort study in which research associates observed the waiting room behaviors of waiting patients. They observed several different behaviors, but mostly were interested in "disruptive" behaviors - fidgeting, aggressive behavior, pacing, getting out of seat, etc. After initial observation, artwork of "natural beauty" along with a DVD of soothing nature scenes was introduced into the waiting room of the two EDs in the study.
And, essentially, the ED waiting experience appeared more pleasant, according to their surrogate measures of patient disruptive behaviors - significant improvements in reducing out of seat behavior, fidgeting, front desk inquiries.
So, art? Probably good, although this is a relatively methodologically weak study.
"Impact of Visual Art on Patient Behavior in the Emergency Department Waiting Room."