Sound Health-Ecophon's Acoustics Podcast
In this fourth episode of A Sound Effect on People, itself part one of two; we investigate the impact of good acoustic design in healthcare. Hospitals are often noisy places, and not just due to the beeping of alarms. They are places of communication, filled with their own rhythm and routines, the clank of the tea trolley alongside the welcome distraction of chatting visitors. When combined with the hard surfaces that are sometimes necessary for cleaning, it can become difficult to maintain the calm environment needed for healing.
In the first part of the podcast, host Salma Cranfield and Ecophon Concept Developer for Healthcare Andrea Harman discuss the current situation in hospitals, how unwanted noise affects healing, and what can be done to reduce noise in environments that are already stressful for patients.
When acoustics are considered and improved, studies have shown that patients recover more quickly, use less pain medication and generally feel ‘more well’ when they leave the hospital. However, it is also important to consider the staff. Working in a noisy environment makes it harder to concentrate, increasing stress and the risk of mistakes. Andrea discusses the HTM acoustic standards for hospitals, and how they are helping to drive standards within new builds, but will take time to affect the older hospital stock.
In the second part of the podcast, Andrea is joined by Andrew Parkin, Partner and Global Head of Acoustics at Cundall. Andrew and Andrea dig into the results of a recent study where simple improvements in the physical environment, had a profound effect on the success of the healthcare provision in a UK hospital.