Monday, December 10, 2012

The Yacker Tracker

In the spirit of expensive medical devices with questionable patient benefits, our hospital recently installed the Yacker Tracker in our recovery rooms. Many studies have linked a noisy environment with poor patient satisfaction and outcomes. We've all been in the ICU where alarms are going off nonstop throughout the entire ward. It drives us insane just being there for five minutes. Pity the poor patient who's stuck in his bed for weeks at a time while the alarms are blaring all around him.

In response to patients and families complaining about our recovery room being too noisy, the hospital has decided that we need the Yacker Tracker to tell us when to pipe down and stop gossiping about what so and so did at happy hour last Saturday night. It works best for noise that is sharp and loud, like a book dropped directly in front of it. It doesn't seem to work as well for the ambient noise that is more prevalent in in the recovery room. Several people were talking near the machine in a normal conversational tone and not a peep came out of it. In fact I did my best Gangnam Style impersonation directly at the device and it didn't alarm. Oh well. It seems like a nice idea in trying to raise the ever more important patient satisfaction score.

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