When we first think of hospital ceilings, we see the need for a hygienic surface to help prevent the spread of bacteria. This is extremely important, but in healthcare environments there are many other performance aspects of the ceiling that also need to be considered.
A trip to the hospital or doctors surgery is often stressful and worrying. The waiting room can become loud at busy times which can add to the stress levels of patients. The healthcare environment beyond the waiting room is also noisy with hospital equipment, alarms, and phones causing volume levels to rise. These noise levels can have a serious impact. Research confirms that noise levels in patient rooms often exceed the World Health Organisation guidelines of 35 dBA during the day and 30 dBA at night, creating more stressful environments for patients and disrupting sleep. Sleep deprivation in patients can lead to prolonged recovery time, so it is very important to choose a ceiling tile with good acoustic properties. The right suspended ceiling system with a high sound-absorbing tile will improve patient rehabilitation and general well-being by reducing the distracting noises of equipment and busy corridors.
Sound issues can also affect staff wellbeing and performance. Alarm fatigue is a dangerous sensory overload for nurses and doctors. This happens when they hear so many alarms and noises from equipment all day long that they become desensitised. Alarm fatigue can lead to important alarms being missed, with potentially deadly consequences. Installing the right suspended ceiling and ceiling tile for the hospital environment will help reduce the overall noise levels, allowing staff to tune into what is important. Reduced noise levels will also help lower stress levels for staff in the healthcare industry.
“In hospitals, high ambient noise levels, as well as peak noise levels, have serious impacts on patient and staff outcomes ranging from sleep loss and elevated blood pressure among patients, to emotional exhaustion and burnout among staff.” – Sound Control for Improved Outcomes in Healthcare Settings (2007), pg. 1
“In one study, more medications were required by surgery patients post-recovery when noise levels were high (more than 60 dB(A)).” – Sound Control for Improved Outcomes in Healthcare Settings, pg. 3
Privacy and Confidentiality
Patients need to feel safe and secure in consulting rooms so that they can comfortably discuss health issues and results, without worrying that people can hear them. The building materials used, including the ceiling tiles, should allow for speech intelligibility whilst also preventing the sound from travelling between rooms.
“At least three studies have shown that installing high-performance, sound-absorbing ceiling tiles and panels results in reduced noise levels…” – Sound Control for Improved Outcomes in Healthcare Settings, pg. 5
Ceiling Tiles for Acoustics
Certain ceiling tiles perform better acoustically than others, at Ceiling Tiles UK we stock high performing acoustic tiles from all leading manufacturers, see the products here.
Clean Ceilings, Clean Air
Due to the compromised immune systems of many hospital patients, the air quality in healthcare facilities is extremely important along with the ability to keep surfaces clean.
There are many different methods that ceiling tile manufacturers have developed to ensure that their tiles are suitable for healthcare environments. Some ceiling tiles such as the Armstrong Bioguard range, have built-in antimicrobial properties. Bioguard has been designed for spaces where the control of bio-contamination is essential as in the Healthcare sector. Bioguard products can be easily cleaned and disinfected with no damage to the tile. They also prevent the build-up of virulent strains of bacteria, moulds, and yeasts. Other tiles do not have added biocides but combine durable surfaces with good hygienic properties (like mould and mildew resistance), making them easy to clean and disinfect. Rockfon Medical range of ceiling panels, for example, are easy to clean, offer protection from fire and humidity, and are Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) resistant.
A friendly and welcoming healthcare environment can play a vital role in uplifting the spirits of patients, staff, and visitors. Although traditionally hospitals have had stark white ceilings for the sterile look, now that there are so many more products to choose from, healthcare facilities can create different atmospheres depending on the space. In some areas, the most important attribute will still be cleanliness and hygiene, but in other areas, privacy, quiet, warmth or comfort may be key. The patient experience outside of an operating theatre is an increasing focus of hospital trusts. While ceiling tiles can provide cleanroom standard antimicrobial properties that can protect against bio-contamination, they are also able to provide natural light and optimised acoustics for areas focused on recovery and healing.
Connect With Nature
A new Smart Market Report by Dodge Data & Analytics, sponsored by Armstrong World Industries, Inc., has shown that there is increased attention to healthier building features. These features include better lighting, products that enhance thermal comfort, spaces that enhance social interaction, enhanced acoustical comfort, and better air quality. This shift in focus from building owners, developers, architects, contractors, and designers towards creating healthier buildings means that there are more opportunities to explore, and that standard white ceiling tiles are not always the best solution. Connecting buildings with nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression. More healthcare facilities are looking to biophilic design to help bring a little of the outside in. At Ceiling Tiles UK we have the perfect solution for enhancing this connection with the outside world whilst creating natural light where it is not possible to have a window. Our LED sky panels can bring life to an otherwise dull hospital waiting room/ ward and create a more positive and uplifting atmosphere that is conducive to recovery and healing.
How Can We Help?
Whether you need a hygienic suspended ceiling for a clean room facility or LED sky panels to bring nature into a childrens ward, we can help. Our friendly team can advise you and make sure you choose the best performing tile whilst getting the best value for money. Get in touch with one of our expert team today.