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goodnightgc‘Good night. Great care.’ – Quietly improving your experience

To improve our patients’ overall experience, The Ottawa Hospital is implementing a consistent approach to reduce night-time noise and ensure a quiet, healing environment for all patients between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Research shows that a quiet environment at night is one of the five key areas that improve patient experience. Excessive noise on in-patient units negatively impacts the patient experience and can cause sleep deprivation, increased stress, elevated blood pressure, exhaustion and result in longer hospital stays. Increased noise levels can also impact staff, resulting in increased fatigue, conflict or miscommunication with patients and families and increased stress/burnout.

Staff will contribute to a quiet environment by:

  • Informing patients and families of The Ottawa Hospital’s official quiet time
  • Providing ear plugs to patients (where appropriate)
  • Lowering the blinds and ensure the lights are dimmed
  • Engaging in quiet and respectful conversations in common areas
  • Closing patient doors (where appropriate)
  • Paying attention to loud equipment:
    • Avoiding overhead pages whenever possible
    • Muting the fax machine and keypad

Patients and their family can contribute to a quiet environment by:

  • Respecting The Ottawa Hospital’s Family Presence policy
  • Respecting The Ottawa Hospital’s official quiet time between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Putting cell phones on vibrate
  • Keeping television and radio volumes low and using headphones between 9 p.m. – 7 a.m.

At 7:45 p.m. an overhead announcement is made to let patients and their visitors know that visiting hours end at 8 p.m.  At 9 p.m. a soft chime will be heard hospital-wide, followed by a message thanking staff and patients for helping us maintain a quiet, healing environment.

Although not all noise can be avoided in an in-patient setting, there are a number of things we can control. A quiet nighttime environment can be achieved by working together and putting a combination of noise reduction measures into practice.