“With design experts and professional installation, our acoustic ceiling systems offer many beneficial qualities to the healing environment,” shared Chris King, Rockfon’s district sales manager serving Texas.
As examples, King lists: “Our stone wool products enhance acoustic qualities and decreases noise. They can effectively disperse natural and energy-efficient light. They’re made from durable materials that hold up to infection control and cleaning measures. They use non-organic materials that resist mold and non-chemically treated materials to lessen the chemical load on patients trying to heal.”
Prioritizing acoustic performance
"The acoustic experience in medical and healthcare facilities plays a critical role in creating a calmer, quieter, less stressful environment for healing and recovery. Good acoustics are essential to ensuring patients’ needs are understood, medical instructions are clear, information is accurately recorded, and confidential details remain private and in compliance with HIPPA,” explained King.
Drawing from evidence-based design principles, healthcare facility and sustainable building guidelines commonly describe acoustic requirements. For example, The Center for Health Design categorizes the use of high-performing, sound-absorptive, acoustic ceilings with a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.90 or higher as a priority design recommendation. When value-engineering a project, ceiling panels with a lower NRC could be used for utility, storage or other areas where patient care is not provided, or in communal areas and collaborative spaces where privacy is not expected.
On UMH, Rockfon Medical Standard, Rockfon Hygienic Plus and Rockfon Alaska provide best-level sound absorption with an NRC of 0.90. Quieter environments offer a calmer, healing space to improve patients’ recovery, privacy and dignity, while reducing stress on caregivers.
“When healthcare staff are less stressed, they are better able to concentrate and are happier at work. This means errors are less likely, absences are fewer and employee retention is higher,” continued King. “A good acoustic experience not only shapes patients’ perceived care and comfort, but also their overall satisfaction. This can impact the bottom line for hospitals and healthcare providers because Medicare reimbursements are tied to patient satisfaction scores.”
According to 2022 Medicare’s Hospitals Compare results, UMH takes top honors in patient satisfaction categories when compared to nine other regional hospitals.
Controlling infection, enhancing healthy outcomes
“First, do no harm,” often is repeated by medical professionals and increasingly, by design professionals who select the building materials that create healthcare facilities. To further reduce the spread of infection, these building materials and products may need to withstand rigorous cleaning methods. Material composition, performance, durability and longevity are important factors to evaluate.
Helping design teams with product selection and specification, Rockfon supports material transparency with documentation such as Health Product Declarations (HPDs), Declare Labels and UL® Certified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). In addition, Rockfon’s entire portfolio or stone wool products are UL GREENGUARD® Gold Certified for low emissions. This certification considers indoor air quality and emissions that may impact children, seniors and people with compromised immune systems, such as hospital patients.