Study: Quiet environment important to hospitals

A new study published by a health facilities design group suggests that not only do noisy, acoustically ineffective facility designs affect the quality of sleep in hospitals, they can compromise staff experiences and patient care in several other ways. The study, by the Center for Health Design (CHD), noted that a poorly-designed acoustical environment can also lead to stress and burnout among staff members, by impeding safety-critical communication between patients and staff as well as between staff members. In addition, poor sound design compromises patient confidentiality by allowing conversations to be heard by unauthorized parties, researchers found. The CHD research was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as part of a series of papers offering resources to health facility designers.

Find out more about the CHD's research:
- read the group's press release
- download the paper (.pdf)