How 3 hospitals are addressing patients' noise complaints

HCAHPS surveys measuring patient experience ask patients directly how quiet their rooms were at night during their stay, prompting many hospitals to tackle this issue head-on with programs designed to provide patients a quieter, more restful environment during their hospitalization.

A recent Kaiser Health News report dove into how some hospitals are addressing this complaint and working to let patients get more sleep. Some of the programs are highlighted below.

  • Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has instituted quiet hours in the afternoon and at night in which lights are dimmed and the staff are encouraged to let patients rest if at all possible. "We're trying to [increase awareness] that patients need to rest, and we need to structure our care as much as possible to allow that to happen," Richard Evans, the chief experience officer, told KHN.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System allows patients to opt to have lavender oil sprayed in their rooms, or have them order herbal tea at night, to help them fall asleep.
  • Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City has looked at the medication its clinicians prescribe to patients. For instance, one medication may need to be administered every six hours instead of every four, which means patients could sleep longer if the first drug was prescribed.

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