HCAHPS questions: During this hospital stay, how often was the area around your room quiet at night?
The World Health Organization and Environmental Protection Agency both recommend that night time noise levels in patient rooms be at or below 35 dBA. Today, the sound levels inside hospitals average 67 decibels at night and a hospital conversation often reaches 60 dBA. Noise at these levels has a direct impact on the health and healing process of patients. Patients exposed to the loudest sounds can lose up to two hours of sleep each night which can trigger a host of health problems, including increased heart and respiratory rates, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and increased cortisol levels. In addition, patients in noisy recovery rooms also request more pain medication. Noise levels also have a negative effect on caregivers, causing them to become annoyed and irritated.
West-Com provides many ways to reduce noise levels in hospitals. Silent communication tools are used with the patient, family and caregivers to decrease noise by reducing redundant conversations. SoundHealth is used to measure, notify and report noise concerns on patients care units and Quiet Mode automatically adjusts nurse call alerts to an appropriate level for evening and night time hours.