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Noise Toolbox


Noise affects patient safety and health, and is an important part of the patient experience. Patients often complain about noise levels during their hospital stay, but there are many interventions available to support a healthier and more comfortable environment.


The Noise Toolbox Contains: 


Issue Brief and Executive Summary

  • "Going Quiet: Best Practices," in this issue brief and executive summary 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.


Three Interviews 

  • "Noise: Going Beyond a “One-Size-Fits-All” Solution," an interview with Susan E. Mazer, PhD, 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.
  • "Treating Noise at the Source," an interview with Ken Roy, PhD, learn about the key noise issues facing the industry today, design strategies that can be implemented to mitigate noise, the problems with spaces that are too quiet.
  • "Noise: Hospitals Need a Unique Approach," an interview with Erica Ryherd, PhD, LEED, AP, 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.


Four Project Briefs





  • Ideas to Reduce Noise, this tool provides healthcare designers and professionals with ideas on how to address the issue of noise in facility design.  

Design Strategies

  • Noise Design Strategies examines HCAHPS scores related to noise in the hospital environment are typically among the lowest. Acoustic intervention packages implemented by healthcare organizations are often a combination of built environment and operational measures. 


Related Resources 

  • Industry Noise Resources, this list of resources is made of up of articles, books, policies, organizations, and more, related to noise  Use this list to learn more about this topic.


Lessons Learned 

  • Lessons Learned About Noise in the Hospital Setting, the following are compiled from research literature, case studies, interviews, and other materials to provide an overview on the topic of noise.



Click here to view all Noise Toolbox resources   

* Want to learn how to become an Affiliate+ member?  Contact Lynn Kenney, lkenney@healthdesign.org