STREAMing Quiet Time
Wockhardt Hospitals

Winner - Quality Fables Competition 2016

"A place where we came for quiet is the place where we found it the least"

This statement by one of our patients during our patient rounds set us thinking about noise levels in our hospital.

We had a religious practice of daily patient rounds by the administration team which comprised of nursing, medical & general administration. The mere purpose of these rounds was to ensure comfort of our patients during their stay in the hospital.

Noise was something that we had least expected as a problem since our occupancies weren't that high. But recently couple of our patients started talking about it in words like "I think there was an emergency in the ward I could hear a lot of commotion in the afternoon"; "No its not their mistake. They all come in the room with some purpose"; "I woke up with a start. They couldn't find the housekeeping guy & had to call out his name loudly in the corridor".

Same problem with different packages! Were we that noisy? Our customers perceived our environment as noisy. We couldn't believe it. As healthcare providers we had a responsibility to provide a 'quiet' healing environment to our patients.

We decided to measure our noise levels. As per WHO the average noise level in hospitals should be around 45 dB. And our readings revealed a noise level of 70 dB. So there! It was proved we were indeed noisy! Moreover the review of literature revealed that every 6 dB increase in noise above the normal increases heart rate by 10-12beats/min.

This problem of lack of rest for patients was brining about restlessness in the senior leadership. After perusing through the data that was collected & a rigorous brainstorming, the team decided to observe a period of rest for the patient between 2-4pm & labeled it as 'Quiet Time'. An innovative acronym of 'STREAM' was designed to streamline the activities during these 2hrs the project was titled as 'STREAMing Quiet Time'.