In addition to earning substantial savings on energy consumption and lowering its carbon footprint, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital (OHRH) enhanced patient care and comfort as well as staff safety as a result of its energy efficiency improvements — creating a win-win for everyone involved.
“At the start of our journey, we instituted a ‘Quiet at Night’ program in our hospital with the goal of reducing noise pollution in our patient care units overnight,” says Joseph Taylor, FACHE, SASHE, CHFM, OHRH’s executive director. “In tandem with this clinical initiative, we had our electricians change the lighting systems so that the lights in our patient units dim automatically at 10 p.m. every night until 5 a.m. the next morning. The 10 p.m. diminishing of lighting levels reminds staff that it’s time to be quiet. That helps our patients enjoy a more restful and healing sleep.”
What’s more, OHRH customized the thermostats in patient rooms so that patients can raise or lower their own room temperatures to their desired comfort level, within a set range. “Patient care comes first, and it’s important for their environment to be comfortable. Letting them control their own thermostats also reduces the need for our HVAC staff to run from one room to another upon request to adjust the temperature,” Taylor says.
But the improvements didn’t stop there. By switching to LED lights in the parking lot, OHRH improved safety conditions for maintenance staff. Also, they reduced premature lighting failure incidents. “Now, the wiring no longer carries the massive amperage it did before, which was a safety issue,” Taylor says. “And because LED lights have a longer lifespan, there’s less risk involved because you don’t have to get up there and replace them as often. The lights are now on when they need to be with less maintenance required.”