The project was first implemented in the Maternity Ward and Neonatal Intensive Care , Source: UZ Gent

Noise cancelling headphones: a way to privacy during hospital room doctor visits

Noise cancelling headphones: a way to privacy during hospital room doctor visits

The pilot project by Ghent’s University Hospital aims to protect the doctor-patient relationship and help patients open up more easily

Hospital staff at the University Hospital in Ghent, Belgium, have started implementing a new technоlogy to help respect patient privacy and doctor-patient confidentiality – noise-cancelling headphones.

Doctors employ the headphones in cases when they do room visits on patients who are staying at the hospital overnight and have to share a room with someone. According to a statement by the hospital, the doctor hands the headphones with a bit of music, so he can talk freely with the other patient about sensitive medical matters.

Music that drowns out the personal details

This year, healthcare professionals in Ghent’s University Hospital have started a pilot project to try and increase the privacy between doctors and patients in shared rooms. When a doctor goes on rounds, he would take a pair of headphones and give them to a patient’s roommate.

The roommate could then listen to music, while the patient and the doctor can talk freely about delicate subjects. After the talk is over, the doctor would take the headphones to be disinfected for the next patient.

The headphones are currently being tested in the Maternity Ward and Neonatal Intensive Care and a lot of the time, the topics discussed between patients and doctors are quite personal.

As the VRT reports, patients are generally quite receptive to the idea and embrace the added privacy. This is because people often experience a psychological barrier when they have to voice their complaints, especially if they are psychological in nature.  

At the same time, gynaecologist Isabelle De Haene was quoted, as explaining that when there are patients who have spent long periods of time together, oftentimes, they do not need the headphones. Also, there are patients who have their own headphones and prefer to use those, which is perfectly fine, according to hospital staff.

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