Meet Grace

Noise is a well-documented problem in hospitals. Sources include patients, staff and visitors talking, as well as the cacophony produced by televisions, alarms, carts, doors, medical equipment and mechanical systems.

These sounds cause more than just irritation. A growing body of research shows that noise actually harms patients by elevating heart rate and blood pressure, as well as increasing muscle tension and metabolism.

Noise also prevents patients from getting the rest they need for recovery. While it’s not responsible for all disruptions, its contribution is significant. Sleep deprivation can cause agitation, delirium, decreased tolerance to pain and suppressed immune response, increasing nursing calls and lengthening hospital stays.

But patients are not the only ones affected. Noise also tires staff out and disrupts concentration, affecting workplace satisfaction and the quality of care.

Speech privacy is yet another acoustic concern. Conversations occur between caregivers, between caregivers and patients, and between patients and visitors at administrative stations, in hallways and patient rooms. Patients know that if they can overhear conversations occurring in adjacent areas, others can hear them as well, making them uncomfortable and less likely to discuss private matters with their caregiver. Patients also have a right to expect privacy.

Addressing these acoustical issues helps to create an environment that promotes healing and supports the proficient delivery of care.