Over the past 40 years, average noise levels in hospitals have increased by a full 15 decibels (dB) reaching levels of around 70 decibels, well above the World Health Organization’s recommended limit of 35 dB for a healing environment
Members of staff devote about 40 per cent of their work time to communicating in one way or another. A suboptimal acoustic environment increases the risk of miscommunication and hence errors, as well as contributing to unnecessarily high stress levels that take their toll on the staff.
Loud equipment noises, alarm sounds and voices all disturb healing sleep and cause stress to patients. Patients in emergency departments, intensive care units (ICU) and operating theatres, and new-borns in neonatal units, are especially sensitive to disturbing sounds.
In a new digital magazine about healthcare sound environment the following 5 Tips are discussed and explained in more detail:
- Room design imitating nature
- Reducing equipment noise
- Increasing distance between patient and noise source
- Screens between patients
- Ceilings and wall absorbents that meet hygiene standards
Read the full article about the 5 tips in the new digital ECO Magazine Healthcare Edition (completely free)
Join the conversation about healthcare sound environments online: #SafeAndSound