Research Finds Easy Ways to Improve Hospital Soundscapes

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A new study from McMaster University shows that easily adjusting the tones used in medical devices can significantly reduce the discomfort caused by these alarms and even improve the hospital work environment and even patient care. I understand.

There is no doubt that these devices are the key to communicating information about patients to doctors and nurses, but previous studies have shown that the sounds they make are annoying, distracting, overlapping with each other, and helping patients recover. It is known to be harmful.

“NS alarm sound The quality of the sound itself is mostly retrofit, so it was designed in this very crude way. The first thing I admitted is that this isn’t the main purpose of these machines, so I understand that this isn’t much of a focus. But research has shown over and over again, these sounds are really problematic, “says Michael Schutz, an associate professor of music cognition and percussion at McMaster.

“When you are hospital In the environment, each patient produces hundreds of these each day. You are trying to communicate with a colleague. There is a lot of confusion and things are happening rapidly. So even if you can maximize the annoyance and warning of each sound in a lab-based test, it’s a real problem in a real hospital environment. “

Schutz and his team can improve these alarms without compromising effectiveness by incorporating sounds already used in hospitals around the world and changing the amplitude envelope to make them more musical. I found.

Researchers have fine-tuned the current timbre from a sudden on / off deployment to a slow fade-out sound, like the sound of a marimba or piano. They found that the new tones were easier to learn and significantly less annoying.

Schutz states that sound still needs to be detectable and not compromise other things, such as understanding speech, which is important in a hospital environment. The team designed some experiments to test it, and for now it looks like it can.

“It takes a lot of work with regulatory, policy and manufacturing changes. In this big picture, I see the role of my team as an addition. Scientific evidence, Along with specific recommendations, we can argue that it’s worth making changes to these devices because of the benefits here, “he says.

“Many medical treatments Terminal Improvements are difficult and costly.Frankly, I think it’s amazing that we can make clear improvements. medical care Just update the sounds used on these devices. And I think it surprises many people in the medical community because this is not a very “normal” way to improve medical care. But it can help many people — improve communication and reduce recovery time. You can also save a patient’s life just by using a better sound. “

This study is in this month’s issue Applied ergonomics..

Artificial sounds in perceptual experiments may have missed the mark, research

For more information:
Sharmila Sreetharan et al, Damped Amplitude Envelope Reduces Alarm Annoyance: Exploring New Approaches to Improve Auditory Interface, Applied ergonomics (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.apergo.2021.103432

Quote: Research improves hospital soundscape (October 14, 2021) obtained from on October 14, 2021 I found an easy way to

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Research Finds Easy Ways to Improve Hospital Soundscapes

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