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Making Hospitals Quiet, Beryl Institute Complete Hospital Noise Project

CHICAGO, Ill. — Making Hospitals Quiet and The Beryl Institute have recently completed the “Hospital Noise Project.”

Following The Beryl Institute’s 2011 study of healthcare executives finding that noise reduction was the primary initiative for patient experience in hospitals, Soundscape Specialists with Building Momentum Group’s Making Hospitals Quiet program teamed with the institute to conduct a study titled the “Hospital Noise Project.” The goal was to determine what actions hospitals are taking to reduce noise within hospitals and how successful efforts have been. Healthcare providers from 242 organizations participated. This landmark study was jointly conducted by Gary Madaras Ph.D., director of the Making Hospitals Quiet program and Jason Wolf Ph.D., executive director of The Beryl Institute.

More than 20 years of research has shown how reducing noise levels in hospitals will improve clinical outcomes. Lack of quietness is the No. 1 source of patient dissatisfaction in U.S. hospitals. However, noise is responsible for more than just patient unhappiness. Noise can affect the quality of overall patient health and recovery, and increase the stress levels of staff, at times leading to mistakes.

Hospital quietness is also scored on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems patient survey, and hospitals have a financial incentive to improve the quality of the overall score. HCAHPS was introduced in 2006 and is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care. Beginning with discharges in October 2012, hospitals will be rewarded through a Value-Based Purchasing program implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The HCAHPS score will be one of the measures used to rate a hospital’s performance standards. A hospital is at potential risk of losing a significant amount of income, up to 1 percent (even more in coming years), if HCAHPS scores are not up to par.

“There exists a chasm between the abundance of Evidence-Based Design research on the negative effects of noise in hospitals and the real world application of it inside existing, living breathing hospitals,” states Madaras. “Almost all of the recent focus is on new facilities, and those operating the 6,500 existing hospitals have been left to their own. We needed to create a bridge, the Making Hospitals Quiet program, to allow these hospitals to cross over to total sound quality.”

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Posted May 4, 2012

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