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Good acoustics reduce mistakes in operating rooms

Good acoustics reduce mistakes in operating rooms

In operating rooms, communication and concentration are vitally important. In a study done at Hvidovre Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, two operating rooms were given different acoustic treatments.

Results show that having a good sound environment in operation rooms will:

  • Reduce mistakes
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve communication

How is this possible?

In operating rooms, communication is often made more difficult by sounds from technical equipment, activities and speech that bounce back and forth between all the hard surfaces in the room. This was the environment in the original operating room.

Introducing a sound-absorbing ceiling reduced the overall sound level and hindered the sound from spreading. This was further enhanced with wall absorbers. They reduced the noise and thus improved speech clarity even more. With each improvement, the measured acoustic results in the rooms improved. Staff clearly experienced the difference and stated that the most improved room was the place where they were most relaxed and could communicate without effort.

 

Ecophon solution

In healthcare facilities it is important that acoustic solutions also meet the strictest hygiene demands in regards to cleaning and disinfection. In this study Ecophon therefore provided the operation rooms with an Ecophon Hygiene™ ceiling and an Ecophon Hygiene™ wall absorber.

There is a huge difference in the sound environment when I compare to a similar situation in the control room.

The study

The study was done at Hvidovre Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark. Three operating rooms (OR) were involved in the project. The first room was treated with an acoustic ceiling and the second one with both acoustic ceiling and wall absorbers. The participating staff worked in all three operating rooms.

Want to know more?

Download the complete research study, "Impact of acoustics on staff performance in operation rooms" by Mai-Britt Beldam, that gives you more in-depth information . 

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