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Noisy and restless: 24 h in an NHS community hospital ward, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the patient environment

Noisy and restless: 24 h in an NHS community hospital ward, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the patient environment
Noisy and restless: 24 h in an NHS community hospital ward, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the patient environment
This case study assesses a hospital patient bay environment in terms of the potential for nurse led interventions to improve the patient experience and possible outcomes. The paper demonstrates where nurses have potential to enhance the environment and where patients contribute most to disruption. A section of an older persons acute-care ward (a patient bay) in an NHS community hospital in the South of England was evaluated by comparing quantitative environmental data (lighting, sound, air temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide and patient bed movements) with qualitative observed events, such as patient examinations noted over a 24-h period.

Inferential tests showed a relationship between the movement of patients in their beds and noise levels in the patient bay (a) above 68 dB during the day, (b) above 60 dB at night and (c) above 85 dB across the 24-h period. Staff accounted for 10% of the observed noise events that exceeded 68 dB during the day and 24% of the observed noise events that exceeded 60 dB at night. There was an observed correlation between observed noise events created by staff and the movement of the patients in their beds (a) 49% during the day and (b) 46% during the night, suggesting there is scope for the nursing staff to reduce noise in the patient bay areas and increase patient periods of rest. The introduction of “quiet-time” rest periods during the day and a general reduction of noise in the patient bay during the night is therefore recommended to enhance patient wellbeing.
hospital, indoor environment, noise, nursing staff, patients
0360-1323
Sawyer, Louise, Kathleen
74d91d33-83cb-40f2-931f-cdd3457e6447
Kemp, Simon
942b35c0-3584-4ca1-bf9e-5f07790d6e36
James, Patrick
da0be14a-aa63-46a7-8646-a37f9a02a71b
Harper, Michael
43fc00d4-9458-4c49-a0bf-21a6f4b3844e
Sawyer, Louise, Kathleen
74d91d33-83cb-40f2-931f-cdd3457e6447
Kemp, Simon
942b35c0-3584-4ca1-bf9e-5f07790d6e36
James, Patrick
da0be14a-aa63-46a7-8646-a37f9a02a71b
Harper, Michael
43fc00d4-9458-4c49-a0bf-21a6f4b3844e

Sawyer, Louise, Kathleen, Kemp, Simon, James, Patrick and Harper, Michael (2020) Noisy and restless: 24 h in an NHS community hospital ward, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the patient environment. Building and Environment, 175, [106795]. (doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2020.106795).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This case study assesses a hospital patient bay environment in terms of the potential for nurse led interventions to improve the patient experience and possible outcomes. The paper demonstrates where nurses have potential to enhance the environment and where patients contribute most to disruption. A section of an older persons acute-care ward (a patient bay) in an NHS community hospital in the South of England was evaluated by comparing quantitative environmental data (lighting, sound, air temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide and patient bed movements) with qualitative observed events, such as patient examinations noted over a 24-h period.

Inferential tests showed a relationship between the movement of patients in their beds and noise levels in the patient bay (a) above 68 dB during the day, (b) above 60 dB at night and (c) above 85 dB across the 24-h period. Staff accounted for 10% of the observed noise events that exceeded 68 dB during the day and 24% of the observed noise events that exceeded 60 dB at night. There was an observed correlation between observed noise events created by staff and the movement of the patients in their beds (a) 49% during the day and (b) 46% during the night, suggesting there is scope for the nursing staff to reduce noise in the patient bay areas and increase patient periods of rest. The introduction of “quiet-time” rest periods during the day and a general reduction of noise in the patient bay during the night is therefore recommended to enhance patient wellbeing.

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approved_submission_SAWYER_24h - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 6 March 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 March 2020
Keywords: hospital, indoor environment, noise, nursing staff, patients

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439419
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439419
ISSN: 0360-1323
PURE UUID: 9dbac84a-1eb1-4201-ae37-cc12b35737f7
ORCID for Louise, Kathleen Sawyer: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7730-5118
ORCID for Patrick James: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2694-7054

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Apr 2020 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:36

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Contributors

Author: Louise, Kathleen Sawyer ORCID iD
Author: Simon Kemp
Author: Patrick James ORCID iD
Author: Michael Harper

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