This study aims to evaluate the effects of architectural layouts of emergency departments on activity patterns/work routines and consequent noise levels. Three Danish hospitals’ emergency departments that had different layouts were investigated via on-site noise measurements over three days and observations of noisy activities. The time-averaged noise levels in the three emergency departments turned out to be significantly different, ranging from 50 to 59 dBA. During the observation of noisy activities, the noise levels and occurrences of individual activities were noted and correlated with the long-term measurements. Major noise sources that have high correlations with the three-day noise levels are identified as loud staff communication and noise from alarms/electronic devices. Potential remedies are suggested in connection to the emergency departments’ architectural layouts. Especially unnecessarily loud communication between medical staff and loud and frequent equipment/patient transportation noise need to be improved for more comfortable acoustic environments.
- Architectural layout
- Hospital emergency department
- Noise level
- Work patterns
- Communication noise