Take Home message: We've come a long way from decades ago, when patients would check in to the hospital for rest. The noise and alarms are nerve wracking and fatiguing to physicans and nurses and certainly unsettling to patients.
Initiatives are under way to reduce noise in hospitals, and while it's too early to tell whether they will prove successful, it has become clear that patient complaints about noise and lack of sleep are critical to quality of care.
“It’s because I can’t get better here, with all those alarms and people waking me up to give me pills and take my blood pressure and get my blood.” She stopped for a moment to catch her breath, then started crying. “I feel like I get sicker in the hospital because I can’t get any sleep!”