Pah-shhhh Studies show that quiet environments promote patient healing and reduce staff and patient stress. The World Health Organization, the Department of Health and the American Institute of Architecture recommend that hospital noise not exceed 30 to 40 decibels. Most Pennsylvania Hospital departments can exceed 55 decibels!  Pennsylvania Hospital is investing significant resources to reduce physical plant and equipment noise, but we need assistance in promoting a quieter environment.

Not only does quietness promote comfort and healing, “Quietness of the Hospital Environment” is also one of the eight domains in the publicly-reported HCAHPS survey. Recent survey results show that our patients want a quieter environment during their stay with us. In response, a Quietness Committee was formed and has initiated changes to establish a more quiet and restful environment and decrease medical errors. 

The committee helped to institute a quiet time from 8pm to 8am daily on all floors, and has asked staff to make a conscious effort to conduct clinical operations in as quiet a manner as possible.  The committee also recently produced “SHHH! Silent Hospitals Help Healing” signs, now visible throughout the hospital to politely remind staff and visitors to reduce noise to better meet our patient needs. In addition, enclosures have been placed around the Med-Surg nurses stations to reduce noise.
To review additional changes and learn how you can assist, refer to the quietness handout on the PAH Intranet

Let’s provide the quiet, comfortable environment our patients seek. Your help will make all the difference! Please contact Dan Wilson (ext.7105), Katie Buek (ext.5663) or Oksana Matla (ext.7075) with any questions. 


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