Music for Hospital Patients: Have We Reached The Tipping Point?

We have known since the time of Florence Nightingale that listening to music has a positive impact on patients during surgery. However, it’s taken pulling together all the small studies on this subject into one robust meta-analysis to really prove it works. So says Dr. Martin Hirsch of Queen Mary University of London, one of […]


Can music reduce the need for narcotics and sedatives in the operating room?

Detroit anesthesiologist Dr. Kathy Schlecht (left) is investigating the benefits of listening to music while undergoing surgery. (Photo: Beaumont Health System) According to a recent article in the Detroit Free Press, Beaumont Health System anesthesiologist Dr. Kathy Schlecht is conducting a study to find out “to what extent music may uncoil our anxiety and even reduce […]


Why You Need To Define Your Sound

A lot of time and thought went into your Brand Book. And it’s filled with detailed, carefully considered prescriptions—which typefaces to use, which colors, the ideal writing style and tone, the amount of white space that should surround your logo, and so on. But what does your Brand Book say about sound? Is there a […]


Three Steps To Improving Your Aural Customer Experience

Your audience is listening. And what they hear from you can have a profound impact on how they feel about your brand. Yet, most companies don’t apply the same degree of thoughtfulness and rigor to the audible experiences they create as they do to the visual experiences. As a result, there is often a perplexing […]

Sounds Like Caregiver Competence

A sound-dampening trial at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm demonstrates how a simple noise-abatement technique can significantly improve the patient experience. Gunnar Öhlén, Chief Medical Officer at Karolinska University Hospital, reports that an “overnight fix” (consisting of just a few four-centimeter glass-wool acoustic tiles attached to the ceiling and walls) made patients feel more confident and comfortable: We […]


Does Your Workspace Work? Listen...

When we talk about how an architectural space makes us feel, we tend to focus on two things: our visual perceptions, and our assessment of how the space works from a utilitarian standpoint. Our eyes see the various shapes and colors that the architect has created, the spatial composition of objects and empty space, the […]

Care for Sound Symposium Extols Benefits of Music in Healthcare

There was an excellent symposium on the role of sound and “music intervention” in healthcare, Care for Sound, held at Lund University in Sweden on October 17, 2013. A number of distinguished speakers, all of them either clinicians or academics (or both), delivered talks on the largely under-appreciated value of both conscientious noise management and […]


Sound Waiting Room Design

Many new hospital waiting rooms are feasts for the eyes. But what do they sound like? In my last post I described a healthcare waiting room scenario in which the lack of any masking sound made it difficult to have a private exchange of information with the receptionist. The lobby was too quiet, and, judging […]

Sound and Privacy in the Waiting Room

What is it about medical waiting rooms that seems to magnify the anxiety we already feel as we’re about to see a doctor or wait for a loved one to go into surgery? On a recent visit to the doctor’s office with my teenage son, what struck me most about the reception-area experience was the […]