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.
- "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
- "Acoustical Wall Treatment Helps Improve HCAHPS Scores for Patient Satisfaction in ED Pilot," learn about how one hospital’s emergency room pilot project increased patient satisfaction, the standards developed post-pilot to decrease noise transfer to other areas of the hospital, and why having design changes on paper may not be enough.
- "Multi-Phase Approach Achieves Culture of Quiet," learn about how St. Mary's Hospital targeted noise reduction goals for their cardiac care unit, about onsite sound measurements that informed material selection, and about design changes that resulted in reduced noise from the highest sources of sound.
- "The Effects of Material Selection on Noise Levels in Two Patient Care Units," learn about the impact of noise on both patient and staff outcomes, about the methods the research team used to evaluate noise levels, and the difference between patient and staff perceptions of noise sources.
- "Keeping It Quiet," 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.
- "Life Indoors—The Design of the Built Environment’s Impact on Health and Wellbeing"
- "Healthy Soundscapes: Bridging the Gaps between Engineering, Architecture and Medicine"
- "The Wicked Problem of Waiting Rooms: It’s About People, Not Process"
- "Curing the Noise Epidemic: How Loud is Your Design?"
- Ideas to Reduce Noise, this tool provides healthcare designers and professionals with ideas on how to address the issue of noise in facility design.
- 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.
- 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 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
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