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Published on July 10, 2017

Noise Slows Healing— and Cone Health Seeks a More Relaxing Experience

Annie Penn Hospital launches a pilot promoting rest and healing for patients through technology.

Hospitals are noisy. Conversations among staff and the myriad beeping and buzzing of technology make it difficult for patients to rest. 

Research also finds noise and a lack of rest may mean more discomfort and even more time in the hospital for patients. That is why Cone Health has launched a pilot project at Annie Penn Hospital aimed at making hospital stays less stressful. At Annie Penn Hospital, patients are encouraged to tune to the C.A.R.E. Channel.

The C.A.R.E. Channel, which stands for Continuous Ambient Relaxation Environment®, looks and sounds a lot like a New Age cable TV show. Patients seemingly tune into laid-back original music and watch nature scenes. “It is really much more than soft music and pretty images,” says Annie Penn Hospital President Cindy Farrand. “The C.A.R.E. Channel was developed specifically for clinical use. The nature imagery and music used are based on decades of research. We see this as another step in continuously improving the care we provide our patients.”

The 24 hour broadcast is designed to reinforce the day/night cycle, which is a significant factor for the body’s ability to heal. During the daylight hours, stunning nature landscapes provide a positive focus for patients who may be anxious, in discomfort or lonely. Overnight, visuals turn to a starry sky, helping patients fall asleep quickly, and return to sleep if awakened for lab work, respiratory treatments, or other clinical interventions.

In addition, Annie Penn Hospital is implementing quiet hours daily from 2 – 4 p.m. While visiting is not restricted, lights will be dimmed and activity that is not medically necessary will be kept to a minimum. Hospital staff will also ask visitors to keep their conversations to a minimum and turn their cell phones to vibrate.

“We hope these steps lead to less use of pain medication, more rest and an even better experience for our patients,” adds Farrand.

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