Sound health: How tranquility rooms can heal caregivers

Sound can also be healing. It promotes a culture of quietness and enhances environments, not just for patients but also for caretakers.

In hospital environments, staff can be inundated with noise—loud sirens, patients in pain, machines beeping—it’s a reflection of policies and regulations creating a dehumanized healthcare experience. But sound—through multisensory environments like the “Tranquility Room” at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.—can also be healing, by promoting a culture of quietness, enhancing environments not just for patients, but to also care for those who take care of others.

Throughout this blog series, we’ve underscored the importance for compassion towards staff—through the partnership between Gensler, sound alchemist Yoko Sen, and the Johns Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub to develop the Tranquility Room. This room has had a profound effect on staff, with the hospital embracing self-care and mindfulness methodologies. Recently, we introduced the Tranquility Room concept at STIR: The Experience Lab—an unconventional conference or “unconference,” a convergence of 300 healthcare executives and practitioners curated through moving music, spoken word, and inspiring talks to push the conversation forward to make healthcare better. Here’s what we learned.

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Four tips for designing the hospital of the future

What exactly is the hospital of future? Or more specifically, what is the future of healthcare design?

At the outset of the Cleveland Clinic Avon Bed Tower project, our designers were challenged with the goal of creating the “Hospital of the Future.” But what exactly is the hospital of future? Or more specifically, what is the future of healthcare design? The answer to these questions would not come from a group of architects and engineers in a DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky conference room. The answer would instead come from a deep understanding of the needs of the patients and providers who occupy the building through the use of an evidence-based design (EBD) approach.

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