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Knowledge Repository

Reducing hospital noise with sound acoustic panels and diffusion: a controlled study

Author(s): Farrehi, P. M., Nallamothu, B. K., Navvab, M.
Ambient noise is a well-known source of stress in healthcare environments. Hospitals have employed methods such as shielding patients with closed doors, altering staff behaviors, and moving equipment, but these approaches can disrupt workflows and do not address the realities of sound generation within hospitals.
Key Point Summary

Acoustic assessment of speech privacy curtains in two nursing units

Author(s): Pope, D. S., Miller-Klein, E. T.
Hospitals are environments with complex soundscapes, and some elements of these soundscapes can impede upon patient health and overall communication. Numerous sources of noise from equipment, movement, and increased speaking volumes combine with high reverberation rates, resulting in the need to speak increasingly louder.
Key Point Summary

Environmental Variables That Influence Patient Satisfaction: A Review of the Literature

Author(s): MacAllister, L., Zimring, C., Ryherd, E.
This paper is a literature review that compiles a number of studies investigating the layouts and designs of hospitals and work settings, and the influences that these environments have on health and behavioral outcomes in patients. More specifically, this review seeks to identify possible links between physical and social environmental influences to self-reported patient outcomes. The authors wish to more fully understand the elements that influence patient satisfaction, and then begin a discussion over how physical and social environments can be further analyzed to enhance satisfaction.
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Improving inpatient environments to support patient sleep

Author(s): DuBose, J. R., Hadi, K.
The importance of sleep in the healing process, as well as the dangers of sleep deprivation, have been thoroughly studied within previously published literature. 
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Influence of soundscape and interior design on anxiety and perceived tranquillity of patients in a healthcare setting

Author(s): Watts, G., Khan, A., Pheasant, R.
The authors open their paper with a brief introduction on tranquil spaces and their relevance in a healthcare setting – improved hospital recovery rates, stress reduction, and more. According to the authors, tranquil spaces are spaces having a pleasant and calming effect – typically natural environments – specifically defined by low manmade sounds. The authors allude to the necessity of creating...
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Surface Finish Materials: Considerations for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Author(s): Harris, D.
In this literature review, it is shown that a growing body of research has been focusing on how surface material finishes within neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) can contribute to the operational, clinical, and social aspects of health outcomes.
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Low stimulus environments: reducing noise levels in continuing care

Author(s): Brown, J., Fawzi, W., Shah, A., Joyce, M., Holt, G., McCarthy, C., Stevenson, C., Marange, R., Shakes, J., Solomon-Ayeh, K.
This article highlights a project that aimed to reduce levels of intrinsic background noise on an adult mental health ward. Following intervention, the ward was able to decrease the background noise decibel level from 60dB to 53dB (on average).
Key Point Summary

Benchmark problem for human activity identification using floor vibrations

Author(s): Madarshahian, Ramin, Caicedo, J. M., Zambrana, D. A.

Understanding Green Building Design and Healthcare Outcomes: Evidence-Based Design Analysis of an Oncology Unit

Author(s): Campion, N., Thiel, C. L., Focareta, J., Bilec, M. M.
The United States healthcare industry is a major part of the economy as well as a significant contributor to carbon dioxide emissions and other environmental issues. Green building design (GBD) attempts to offset environmental impacts of buildings, and recently designers have been combining GBD with evidence-based design (EBD) in order to create facilities that positively impact both the external and internal environment.
Key Point Summary

The role of noise in clinical environments with particular reference to mental health care: A narrative review

Author(s): Brown, B., Rutherford, P., Crawford, P.
The problem of noise in healthcare environments has been discussed in a variety of contexts, including psychology, sociology, built environment studies, and nursing. It has been well documented that the element of noise within clinical settings can elevate stress, impede recovery, and disturb sleep. But despite the extensive literature discussing the effects of noise in clinical settings, scarcely any research has been done on the role noise plays in mental healthcare environments.
Key Point Summary