In this study, an operating room simulation environment was adapted to include quadraphonic speakers, which were used to recreate a composed clinical soundscape. To assess validity of the composed soundscape, several acoustic parameters of this simulated environment were acquired in the presence of alarms only, background noise only, or both. These parameters were also measured for comparison from size-matched operating rooms at Jackson Memorial Hospital. The parameters examined included sound level, reverberation time, and predictive metrics of speech intelligibility in quiet and noise. It was found that the sound levels and acoustic parameters were comparable between the simulated environment and the actual operating rooms. The impact of the background noise on the perception of medical alarms was then examined, and was found to have little impact on the audibility of the alarms. This study is a first in kind report of a comparison between the environmental and psychological acoustical parameters of a hospital simulation environment and actual operating rooms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)