In an effort to promote patient healing and improve the quality of care, Lompoc Valley Medical Center has embarked on an initiative to encourage a quieter hospital environment. Studies have shown that high levels of sound can have a negative physical and psychological effect on patients by disrupting sleep, increasing stress and decreasing patients’ confidence in the competence of their caregivers.
Other research has shown that noise can cause a negative influence on patient recovery times.
Using its own staff as models, LVMC is displaying posters declaring “Shhh… Silent Hospitals Help Healing.”
The signs will be displayed throughout the acute hospital to encourage staff, visitors, and patients to help promote a quiet environment for everyone. Other efforts are being made, including:
- Limiting overhead paging
- Keeping hand-held devices –- such as cell phones or nursing phones -- on vibrate.
- Patient room lights are dimmed from 2 to 4 pm and 10 pm to 6 am to encourage a quiet mood.
In conjunction with National Patient Safety Goals, LVMC has also reviewed and revised policies related to medical equipment, to ensure the alarms are audible for medical and nursing staff, while the sound is low enough to minimize disruption to the patient.
LVMC will continue to promote quietness at the acute hospital in its commitment to provide high-quality care in a safe, healing environment.