How does one define acoustical privacy? Is it by achieving one of the seemingly countless ratings? Is it by complying with a vague industry guideline? In the end, patients have to feel comfortable that their conversations with their caregivers are confidential.
We’re often asked…Do you meet HIPAA guidelines? or What is the STC rating for your walls? Neither of these questions are actually relevant when determining true acoustical privacy.
There are so many acoustical ratings it will make your head spin. STC, ASTC, STCc, PI, AI, SII, SPC, NC/RC(N)/RNC, db(A), etc… There are also multiple standards and guidelines people like to refer to. HIPAA, FGI, ANSI, ASTM, etc… What do they all mean? Which ones really matter? Let us try and explain what’s important in plain language.
Think of a typical exam room as a vessel of sound. Like any vessel that contains water, the walls and lid of that vessel may be of the strongest materials, but if there is any gap at the seams the water will find a way to leak out. Your exam room can have the highest STC-rated walls, doors, and windows, but sound will find a way to leak through even the smallest gap or cavity if not properly sealed.
There are several variables at play in every exam room that need to be controlled in order to achieve acoustical privacy. Walls, doors, windows, floor deck and coverings, ceiling design and materials, HVAC systems, lighting, electrical/data outlets…to name a few.
The goal isn’t to construct completely sound proof rooms. That’s just not practical or economically feasible. Rather, finding ways to reduce the amount of speech transferred between rooms to unintelligible levels is the end goal.
MedSpace Innovations has spent years developing practical, cost-effective solutions to achieve acoustical privacy. It starts with our own products and the proprietary designs and materials we incorporate with every project. We can also orchestrate the entire process at the jobsite, addressing all of the variables mentioned above, and working closely with the end-user to deliver the level of acoustical privacy they desire.
So, the right question to ask is…How do I make my patients feel comfortable with sharing confidential information with our caregivers? Partnering with MedSpace Innovations is your answer. Contact us today.
For more information view our Acoustical Privacy PDF.