Managing hospital noise and creating a quieter environment for patients is a challenge that’s now being measured against HCAHPS scores and tied to reimbursement in the U.S. It’s a factor that affects both patient satisfaction and outcomes as well as staff satisfaction and performance.
What can you do to reduce hospital noise and improve the auditory environment? The first step is to make a commitment to create a total healing environment for your patients and staff.
A healing environment requires both a safe physical setting that is conducive to recovery in all aspects. It also needs an organizational culture that supports patients and families through the stresses imposed by illness, hospitalization, medical visits, the process of healing, and sometimes, bereavement.
This is not accomplished in a noisy environment or in one that has an uneasy silence. Florence Nightingale never assumed the “sick room” to be quiet. Rather she warned, “Necessary noise is that which damages the patient. Unnecessary noise is the cruelest absence of care.”
The auditory environment must be designed to be responsive, reliable, and resilient. It must support clear communication while protecting confidentiality. It must comfort and care, and at the same time, be efficient.
Here are some resources you can use to help reduce noise in your hospital:
If you’d like to have Dr. Susan E. Mazer speak at your next meeting or conference about improving hospital noise, contact us.