Lessons learned from a study of how acoustics affect patient satisfaction have proven invaluable to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, Wis., as it continues a multiphase campus reconstruction.

Noise-reducing design strategies were incorporated throughout the health care system’s new 90-bed patient tower, which replaces a building with an emergency department built in the early 1970s and other sections that date to 1924, says Gary Kusnierz, vice president of performance excellence at Ministry Health Care in Appleton.

The ED and other spaces in the previous hospital were the source of staff and patient complaints about noise levels, which spurred St. Elizabeth to study acoustics and apply noise-reducing design in its newest facilities, he says.

The hospital learned about the extent of dissatisfaction with ED noise levels in the old hospital through a voice-of-the-customer event at which more than 700 patients and family members were interviewed, Kusnierz says.

Read the full story from our sister publication, Health Facilities Management.