Anyone who has had a hospital stay knows how difficult it is to get uninterrupted rest. Normal anxiety is compounded by abnormal amounts of noise. The general sounds of commotion bounce off linoleum floors, cavernous hallways, and hard walls. Then there's the noise of delivery carts, neighboring patients and their TV's and, of course, P.A. announcements. Historically, Press Ganey ( a leader in providing scientific tools to help the healthcare industry measure on-site performance) customer satisfaction surveys show that noise and the resultant lack of rest are significant patient dissatisfiers.
When Ben Pethe, Director of Facilities Management at Saint Thomas Hospital, learned about a new overhead speech privacy system - Confidante - he decided to test it in a limited area. Approximately four months after the installation the hospital's post-stay Press Ganey survey of 57 patients on the issue of "noise in and around the room" showed statistically significant promise. "The results were dramatic - a 33% increase in patient satisfaction," said Pethe. "In this setting, for that kind of money, if you can improve patient satisfaction, that's a good return," he added.