'Quiet Kits' can change patient experience

July 15, 2014

"Quiet Kits" are packages presented on the pillows of patient beds containing ear plugs, an eye mask, lip balm and puzzles to help patients relax. They were developed by a committee of healthcare professionals concerned with cutting down on noise disruption, according to an article on the Becker Hospital Review website.

The kits also included a "Questions for My Care Team" journal and a "Voices Down Please" door hanger.

"It's great for a patient who is sick to have those earplugs to drown out that noise or the eye masks to shut yourself off from the bright lights and things that are part of the hospital environment," said Cathy Frontczak, vice president and CNO at Hospitals in Oxnard and Camarillo, Calif. "The Sudoku or different crossword puzzles really help to distract patients from their discomfort or anxiety."

Frontczak said the distractions the kits provide have even helped reduce the need for pain medication for some patients. Additionally, Frontczak found family members and hospital visitors also enjoy the kits.

Not only did patients and their families find a reprieve from the hospital through the kits, but clinicians' attitudes and behaviors changed as well, said Sue MacInnes, Medline's chief market solutions officer. If a nurse was rounding and saw the patient was wearing the eye mask or the ear plugs, the nurse would know to come back later and not disturb the patient while he or she rests.

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