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Insights & Solutions

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Issue Brief
March 2014 Issue Brief
As part of the noise toolbox, in this issue brief you will learn about how excessive noise can negatively impact patients and staff in the hospital environment, ways to improve patients’ perception of sound, and low-cost, medium-cost, and high-cost design strategies that can reduce noise.
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Webinar
September 2014 Webinar
Healthy soundscapes are paramount to the missions of hospitals: patients need to sleep and heal without unnecessary environmental stressors; staff, patients, and family need to communicate accurately but privately; staff need to be able to localize alarms and calls for help. There is growing research evidence of the potentially negative effects of poor soundscapes on hospital occupants. Explore recent findings from the Healthcare Acoustics Research Team (HART), an international collaboration of specialists in architecture, engineering, medicine, nursing, and psychology. 
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Webinar
July 2014 Webinar
The waiting room continues to be a major problem area in terms of patient and family experience, as well as organizational efficiency. Healthcare organizations struggle to accommodate high patient volumes and a variety of acuity levels, while patients and families deal with a roller-coaster of emotions, long wait times, and lack of privacy. The majority of research on the topic of waiting room design is based in case studies, which provide little generalizable evidence for further application.
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Webinar
May 2014 Webinar
From heightened anxiety and stress, to medical errors, to staff burnout, to HIPAA violations, that hospital noise is pandemic is well known. Ongoing efforts to reduce noise in hospitals, including the “quiet at night” campaigns, have limited success due to a misunderstanding regarding the characteristics of a restful environment. The auditory environment is the least controllable and the most pervasive, involving communications, technology, family dialogue, sounds of recovery and sounds of disease. This webinar provides both insights and frameworks for creating a healing, restful environment.
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Lessons Learned
August 2014 Lessons Learned

The following are compiled from research literature, case studies, interviews, and other materials to provide an overview on the topic of noise.  

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Tool
September 2015 Tool
This tool provides healthcare designers and professionals with ideas on how to address the issue of noise in facility design.
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Project Brief
October 2015 Project Brief
Learn about: how Florida Waterman built patient rooms to reduce noise, how patient satisfaction scores improved as a result of room design changes, and how the team studied the impact of the new design strategy.
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Interview
October 2014 Interview

Learn about: the ways sound can support a healing environment, creating a culture of appropriate noise levels within a busy healthcare setting and engaging staff  in building a healing environment in their own units, for patients and for themselves.

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Interview
October 2014 Interview

Learn about: why hospitals starting to care more about noise issues, new metrics for noise measurements and why measuring noise in unoccupied rooms is important and holistic approaches to sound reduction.

Blog
October 2014 Blog

For many years, carpet was considered a no-no for use in most hospital settings beyond waiting areas. The most oft-cited reason was cleanability, as well as a perceived added difficulty for caregivers pushing carts and other wheeled equipment. However, with the growing awareness of the noise issue in hospitals—including the potential financial repercussions, based on the HCAHPS system and the reimbursements tied to it—carpet is getting a second look in some facilities looking to decrease overall noise levels.