When evaluating the holistic patient experience, there are three important factors involved: people, process, and place. Planners and designers of the healthcare built environment, need to understand that “place” should be an enabler of patient satisfaction.
A key issue within the hospital environment section of the survey involves noise in and around the patient room.
When excessive noise is present in the patient room and the nursing unit, it has significant impact on the patient experience. The most significant impact of noise on the built environment impacts patient satisfaction, slower patient recovery, and longer lengths of stay and the overall cost of healthcare.
These impacts are substantiated through research and evidence-based design, which are well documented within the healthcare industry.
When it comes to excessive noise in and around the patient room, there are typically two sources of the noise. One is from external sources outside the patient rooms. Noise can come from the corridor, mechanical/electrical systems, equipment, and from adjacent patient rooms.
Another source of noise can come from within the patient room itself. These include sources, like equipment alarms, visitors and staff, television noise, noise from the patient toilet room, and noise from the mechanical space.
The first step to addressing these challenges is understanding the changing healthcare dynamics. Planners and designers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to provide healthcare facilities that address these issues and present innovative solutions that improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.