Hospitals Increasingly Launching "Quiet Campaigns" for Patient Safety

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More hospitals are implementing measures to reduce noise in response to a growing body of literature showing high levels of noise may impede patient recovery, according to an LA Times news report.

The worldwide hospital average for noise is approximately 72 decibels during the daytime and 60 decibels during the nighttime, according to the news report. These levels are far above the World Health Organization's standard of a maximum of 40 decibels. Technology and the rush of hospital care are the main contributors to such high levels of noise, according to the news report.

 

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The noise levels are cause for concerns, as more studies show higher noise levels can disrupt patients' sleep, increase stress levels and pave the way to medical errors and alarm fatigue. Patients staying at noisier hospitals also request more pain killers and may experience higher heart rates, blood pressure, respiratory rates and cortisol levels, according to the news report.

Hospitals throughout the country are combating the high noise levels through different "quiet campaigns," including nixing intercom paging and metal trash cans, implementing noise-absorbing flooring and paneling and dimming lights as a reminder to staff members to hush their voices, according to the news report.

Read the news report about hospital noise.

Related Articles on Patient Safety:
Health Research Group Asks FDA to Ban Latex Surgical and Examination Gloves
5 New Technologies That Ensure Proper Hand Hygiene
9 Steps to a Great Quality Improvement Study

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