Bronx hospital pilots noise-reduction program for patients

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THE BRONX -

Saint Barnabas Hospital is piloting a new noise-reduction program to help aid patients in their recoveries.

Hospital staff say the program involves a few initiatives that are being tested in the three-north unit. One of the initiatives is a device called the Sound Ear. The Sound Ear hangs inside the hallway of the hospital to keep the staff aware the noise level. It works similar to a traffic light with colors that represent noise levels. Green means the noise level is good, yellow indicates noise is getting louder, and red is a sign to quiet down.

There are also "quiet hours" between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., along with "relaxation kits" that include an eye mask and ear plugs that are handed out to patients staying on the floor.

Hospital executives say patient satisfaction surveys are coming back with positive results after only a few months of testing the program.

Hospital administrators say they will decide shortly whether to expand the program to other units. 

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