Whidbey General Hospital

Innovative ‘Hush Curtains’ Increase Privacy, Decrease Noise

Whidbey General recently became only the third hospital in Washington and the first rehabilitation services department in the nation to employ a new type of curtain to reduce noise, increase privacy and improve communications in a patient-care area.


Four sets of so-called “hush curtains” were installed in the Rehabilitation Department’s individual treatment rooms in October 2012.

Since treatment rooms are next to each other, it was previously easy to overhear conversations in other rooms, thus decreasing a patient’s sense of privacy. While the department has always sought to reduce noise, restrictions in the floor plan limited what could be done.

Until now.

Developed by a sound engineer specifically for health care facilities, the new curtains are manufactured with hospital-grade fabrics. Baffle panels made from sound absorbing material soak up noise to create quieter, more private environment.

Now that the curtains have been up for a few months, has anyone noticed a change?

“It really is making a difference,” says Debbi Williams, MS, OT, manager of Rehabilitation Services. “When the curtains are pulled, it is quieter and our staff can hear better with less background noise, even when all four rooms are being used. The therapists have indicated that they find themselves speaking softer, since they don’t have to talk over the conversation in the adjacent room.”

In addition to reducing noise levels, the curtains enhance a patient’s speech comprehension. That means patients and health care workers are able to communicate more clearly – improving the overall hospital experience for patients, families and staff.

Many thanks to the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation, whose generous donors provided funds to acquire the new curtains.

There’s no need to go off island for high quality rehabilitation services. Whidbey General offers:

• Acupuncture

• Aquatic Therapy Program

• Back Rehabilitation and Education

• Fall Prevention

• Independent Exercise Program

• Neurological Rehabilitation

• Occupational Therapy

• Orthopedic Rehabilitation

• Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Program

• Physical Therapy

• Speech-Language Pathology

• Sports Therapy

• Vestibular Rehabilitation

For more information on Rehabilitation Services, please call the hospital at 360-678-7619, or 360-321-7656, ext. 2250. Or call Whidbey General North at 360-679-1415.


I was made comfortable by all staff.
They were attentive, cheerful and efficient.

Everyone at Whidbey General focuses on achieving the best possible patient outcomes. Read comments from our patients about the care they received. Want to share your own testimonial? Email myhospital@whidbeygen.org.



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