Providers know that the patient experience is a vital part of their business. In fiscal year 2015 up to 3% of a provider’s total Medicare payments are on the line, based on their HCAHPS patient exit survey scores. A key driver for a great patient experience is the sonic environment of the care facility. The HCAHPS survey asks, “Was the area around your room quiet at night?” Can your facility meet that challenge?
A program to improve the sonic environment for patients has three pillars: operational practices, administrative policy and facility improvement. Are care givers cognizant of the sounds in their area? Are policies in place to reduce noise? Are facilities as quiet as they can be?
The first step toward a great sonic environment, and a better bottom line, is an assessment of the acoustics in key patient care areas, a comprehensive acoustical audit. Sound level mapping, with an array of temporary sound meters installed at strategic locations, can provide initial visibility of sonic hot spots. Care giver focus groups can bring awareness of quiet operational behaviors. Customized patient surveys illuminate the acoustical issues that require solutions. Evaluation of these data as a system pinpoints actionable knowledge, which improves patient outcomes.
A commitment to a better sonic environment begins with the acoustical audit, and continues with incremental improvements as opportunities are identified. Healthier patients, satisfied caregivers and happier stakeholders are the result. Are you ready?