With only one stop left on our Midwest Tour, Sound Healthcare 2010 has already been presented to over 450 architects, engineers, designers, and healthcare professionals. But along the way something unexpected has been happening: people all across the country have been contacting us about attending the tour (which is a good problem to have). Some have gone as far as flying in to attend the seminars in person, but the majority have been asking about the possibility of a webinar presentation. Good news: if you are unable to make it to our last stop in Milwaukee on June 29th, we have a plan in the works to offer Sound Healthcare 2010 via webinar. But first, what are people saying about Sound Healthcare 2010? The following quotes are taken verbatim from our anonymous online survey:
“Very good overall, lots of material covered. I found it all very informative.”
“The case studies were helpful for their descriptions of acoustic design applications.”
“Speakers were very interesting.”
“Kenric was a very good speaker and very personable – a very good resource.”
At Acoustics By Design, we are still working out the details for the webinar and will be making an announcement about that soon. Like the live tour, the webinar presentation will focus on the 2010 FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities, which was published in January and adopted as building code by many states. Participants will learn about the new FGI Guidelines for HIPAA Compliance and LEED for Health Care. The new guidelines are the culmination of over five years of collaborative work by researchers, architects, engineers, and acoustical consultants to solve the problems of speech privacy and excessive noise in hospitals. The guidelines are effective immediately for the design of all healthcare facilities.
For perspective, consider the 2006 Guidelines which mandated single patient rooms in hospitals. As a result, single patient rooms are the absolute standard in healthcare design today. This was an overnight seismic shift in policy that affected all healthcare building projects. Well, the 2010 Guidelines are no different in their sweeping reforms, addressing a whole new dimension of healthcare design, namely: acoustics, noise, and HIPAA speech privacy laws.
Sound and vibration in a healthcare setting comes from a variety of locations and is a systematic problem. According to JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) excessive noise raises blood pressure, extends patient stays, and can be a safety concern. Thus, for a solution to be effective, it must be holistic and comprehensive. The acoustical portion of the guideline is extensive and covers a wide range of issues including exterior noise to the community, internal noise isolation of patient rooms, speech privacy of your medical information, and vibration isolation for mechanical equipment.
The new 2010 FGI Guidelines, published in conjunction with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association (AHA), is the kind of reform that is really needed to promote good healthcare today. Your conversations with your doctor about your sensitive medical condition will remain confidential. Sleeping in your hospital bed will be relaxing and comfortable – a respite from the typical noisy patient room.
At Acoustics By Design, we’ve been designing acoustical solutions for healthcare facilities for almost fifty years, and we want designers and health care planning teams to understand how the new Guidelines work in real life. Stay tuned for a detailed announcement from us about the upcoming Sound Healthcare 2010 Webinar.