For hospitals, disguising speech and guarding patients’ personal information is not just a matter of doctor-patient confidentiality, it’s the law.
For businesses, the cost of distraction is already big enough. But the cost of privacy and confidentiality breaches is also substantial at $53 billion dollars annually. Over 6500 incidents of industrial espionage happen in the United States every year. The economic impact is valued at $1.25 million per incident.
Confidentiality is measurable
Speech privacy is not abstract, but quantifiable and measurable. Internationally recognized standards on speech privacy have been around for several decades. The ISO, the ANSI and the ASTM have a suite of six widely known standards that define oral privacy and how to use instruments to measure it.
How would your building measure up to the privacy index?
The Privacy Index (PI) measures the unintelligibility of speech. Also called the articulation index (AI), which measures how intelligible speech is. They’re two sides of the same coin. A low AI or a high PI means the same thing: your patients’ or company’s confidential information are safe, and no one’s unintentionally or intentionally overhearing it.
Patients, medical staff, company employees need normal privacy for their well-being. For R&D anti-espionage and SCIFs, Confidential Privacy, or a PI score of greater than 95% is optimal. The ABCs of speech privacy can easily help you achieve it.
- Absorb the sound with a high-NRC-rated ceiling tiles or acoustic wall panels
- Block the sound with high-STC-rated panels, partitions, walls, windows, etc.
- Cover the sound by installing a high quality sound masking system.
Covering, or sound masking, is the most used, the biggest bang for your buck if, and only if, it’s effective in covering sound when needed, without deafening residents/occupants otherwise. Both in hospitals and the workplace, a balance between privacy and articulation is essential so that conversations can take place unimpeded without the need to shout.
Speech Privacy Systems sound masking is easily installed in the ceilings, the plenum space, or even on desks, and has a patented, exclusive technology calibrated to emit unstructured, low-level background sound that adapts to noise levels, quiet during the night, but acting as a powerful blanket to distinct, stressful noises from machines and conversations during more active hours of the day, muffling them and turning them into a pleasant background our brains will just ignore.
Absorption and blocking no longer means installing carpets, cubicles and other structural redesign. Ceiling panels aren’t always possible either. EcoPrivacy™ acoustic wall panels are functional art that contribute to absorbing and blocking noise. They’re easily set up and installed without prolonged disruption to patients or business. Acoustic panels and sound masking work together for a pleasing, restful and productive environment.
HIPAA regulations require hospitals and medical offices to address noise and speech privacy, and yet the lowest-rated satisfaction marker nationwide is the quietness of patients’ rooms.
Noise has been associated with high blood pressure and night-time noise negatively affects sleep quantity and quality, which leads to the patient’s weakened immune system and compromised ability to regenerate new cells. The result: a lengthened hospital stay and your patients’ abysmal perceived care dragging down your HCAHPS score.
Concentration, fatigue and stress levels among caregivers and nursing staff are also affected. Medical error rates increase in conjunction with the level of noise.
Sound masking eliminates these damaging effects to patients, the medical staff and the hospital’s HCAHPS scores.
Plug information leaks
Whether or not you have R&D in the building, leaked confidential information is still detrimental to your company, and should be a high-priority concern in acoustic design.
A high quality sound masking system and acoustic panels added to walls protect the confidentiality of human resource discussions, new product development, expansion/relocation plans, marketing strategies, potential mergers, and next quarter’s financial performance, not to mention top-secret meetings with military defense contractors.
Every work environment has its unique challenges, and you’ll want to maximize your Privacy Index score while minimizing the cost. Acoustic panels and a superior sound masking system makes speech unintelligible and plugs information leaks without the expensive costs of renovations, expansion, or soundproofing. Compare your privacy options at Speech Privacy Systems.
VoiceArrest™’s unique and powerful sound masking is backed by numerous success stories, makes it the best place to start. If afterward, still more privacy is needed, one of the other more costly options for Absorption and Blocking can be employed.