by Ingrid Fuchs (Concept Developer Healthcare Environments at Ecophon Germany) and Dr. Martin Schmelling (Specialist in Anesthetics, St.Marys Hospital)
In July 2014 an optimization and acoustic intervention started in the pre-located areas of the OR (pre-op and post-op patient areas) at the St. Marien Hospital in Siegen, Germany. It has been a challenge for the technical management to keep the room acoustics on the agenda, during the whole planning process of the hospital refurbishment. The quality of better speech intelligibility and a calm working environment hasn’t been explored before – so it has been, let’s say an unknown advantage. Noise is very stressful partly due to work tasks and partly when communicating with patients and their family members. I can be difficult and sometimes even impossible. When the noise increases around you people tend to talk louder and simple tasks like preparing the sterile set-up for the next operation can be very loud.