Strategic Advice

How to reduce noise in hospitals?

The latest Medicare data shows only 60% of patients said the area outside their room was quiet at night—the lowest satisfaction score among 27 questions about the hospital experience. Source: WSJ

Understand impact of the problem

  1. Is the noise inhibiting patient’s healing or it’s just annoying?
  2. Is noise affecting hospitals’ occupancy?
  3. Who else is affected by the noise? Staff, visitors, management
  4. Is it possible to quantify the financial and non financial impact of the noise?

Details of noise

  1. What is the type of noise? Instrument, people, other
  2. What is the source of noise? staff, visitors, other patients
  3. What is the location of noise? Inside hospital, inside patient rooms, outside hospital

Potential Solutions

Reduce Noise:

  1. Communicate the importance of noise reduction via notices, emails, banners, publishing guidelines
  2. Train staff to monitor noise, monitor source of noise, enforce discipline, etc
  3. Restrict access to high impact areas
  4. Reduce equipment usage

Reduce Perception:

  1. Install doors, walls, partitions
  2. Install noise cancelling devices
  3. Modify the layout of the hospital