Accreditation

University of Michigan hospital uses sound panels to reduce noise

Accreditation Insider, August 25, 2015

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To improve the patient care experience, the University of Michigan Health System has tested the use of sound-absorbing panels in hallways to reduce the noise level. A pilot study found that placing the panels in hallways around patient rooms results in a 3-4 decibel drop in noise. The four panels were covered in cones and made with sound-absorbing material; they were installed for three days in the walls and ceilings of a cardiovascular care unit.

Published in BMJ Quality and Safety, the study found that sound levels were 60 decibels in the daytime, but on the sound panel-enhanced hallways, the level was 57 decibels. The World Health Organization recommends that hospital sound levels not exceed 35 decibels. In addition, the University of Michigan has established quiet hours in all inpatient areas.

Read about the University of Michigan’s effort.

Read an extract of the study.



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