A creaky door opens. A cabinet slams shut. Wheels on a medicine cart scrape against the floor.
What would usually be minor annoyances could become a major frustrutation when you’re hospitalized and captive to sounds that go bump in the night. That’s why Bayhealth is forming a special “Quiet at Night” Task Force to examine, identify and silence noises that may disturb hospitalized patients at night.
“Our task force will patrol hallway corridors (at Bayhealth Kent General and Milford Memorial) and isolate the specific sources of noise that could disrupt a patient’s rest in the evening and overnight hours,” said Bayhealth Planetree Coordinator Donna Henderson, who is part of the task force along with Andy Strouse and Angel Aguilar of Bayhealth Plant Operations.
According to Henderson, the task force is already implementing simple changes that go a long way towards removing extraneous noises and facilitating a peaceful night’s rest for patients. This includes the installation of cushions on cabinet doors, replacing the wheels on a fleet of medicine carts, and adjusting the volume control on IV pumps.
There are five other Bayhealth task forces examining key issues to create a more healing environment for patients, including patient friendly billing, 24-hour visitation policy, cleanliness, food and nutrition, and admissions and discharge.
It’s all a part of Bayhealth’s Planetree model of patient-centered care which focuses on a holistic approach to the healing the mind, body and spirit. Planetree empowers patients through information and education, encourages more active participation by patients, and emphasizes healing partnerships among caregivers, patients, and their families.
Since adopting the Planetree model in 2005, Bayhealth has implemented many unique initiatives to promote a patient-centered, healing environment for patients.
This includes: less restrictive visiting hours; a care partner program; pet-assisted visitation; complementary medicine, including massage, caring touch and aromatherapy; free services such as notary public, local newspapers, books and magazines; an on-demand education and entertainment system; barber or beautician services for inpatients; hospital musicians and entertainers; and access to the “Caring Bridges” social media website which allows friends and family members to track a patient’s progress through the Internet.