How 5 hospitals are improving patient experience

From noise reduction devices to rooftop gardens with skyline views, several hospitals are experimenting with uncommon programs and strategies to improve patient experience.

Below are five examples:

1. Why one Iowa hospital uses essential oils in its ER
To stop vomiting and help patients fight symptoms of nausea in the emergency room, nurses at CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs in Iowa are testing an alternative to traditional medicine: inhaled essential oils.

2. Boston Children's opens 8,000-square-foot rooftop green space to replace garden
Boston Children's Hospital opened an 8,000-squarefoot garden  atop the hospital's main building May 14 that  offers views of Boston's skyline. The hospital also plans to build two indoor gardens, another rooftop garden and a ground-level one.

3. New York City hospital pilots noise-reduction program
Bronx, N.Y.-based St. Barnabas Hospital created a pilot program to help lower noise throughout the facility. The program includes the Sound Ear, a device that hangs in the hallway to keep staff aware of their noise levels. If noise reaches a certain level, a red light flashes to alert the staff.

4. How Mount Sinai is harnessing the power of bright light to boost patient satisfaction
A clinical trial at New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System is testing whether brighter lights in cancer patients' rooms in the morning can boost their mood and help them sleep through the night.

5. Nurse at Jackson Health System creates clothing closet for discharged homeless patients
Oliver Castellanos, a nurse at Miami-based Jackson Health System, created a clothing closet at the hospital for discharged homeless patients after noticing throughout his 30-year career that many homeless patients were released without the bare necessities.

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