Friday, August 21, 2015

Sound Panels Used to Reduce Noise in Michigan Hospital

The University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor is experimenting with acoustic panels to diffuse sound in patient hallways and address concerns that hospital noise from monitors and paging systems interrupts patients' sleep and affects their blood pressure and heart rates, FierceHealthcare reports.

The University recently published findings from its pilot study in BMJ Quality and Safety, which indicated that the sound-absorbing panels, which are similar to ones used in music rooms, reduced noise in patient areas by three to four sound decibels.

The hospital is also promoting a “culture of quiet” in patient areas by providing complimentary headphones to patients and families; setting quiet hours in all inpatient areas; setting pagers to vibrate when medically appropriate; coordinating care in order to reduce unnecessary entry into patient rooms during quiet hours; and reminding staff to use quiet voices and behaviors in the patient care setting and to close doors quietly.

An INQRI-funded study found a unique way to use different sounds to reduce alarm fatigue and help keep patients safe. Led by Tracey Yap and Jay Kim the team used music to reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers. The study used music to cue patients in long-term care facilities to move in order to avoid getting pressure ulcers. The music also cued staff to help to move those patients who could not move on their own.

The University’s study abstract is available here.

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