By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Patients should only be admitted to the hospital when they absolutely need to be.

A hospital can provide an environment and services that can be life saving. But in those cases where a person has an illness that can be effectively managed at home, it’s better to be there. That’s because even in the cleanest environment, it’s still possible to spread germs from patient to patient. And, as studies have shown, not everyone involved in healthcare takes the proper precautions.

Another issue in hospitals is one you might not think about… Noise. Believe it or not, our hospitals are louder than ever. Noise levels have grown an average of 15 decibels from 1960s levels. Those noise levels are disturbing because they’re higher than they’ve ever been in the evening.

nother study has shown that louder hospitals have poorer quality scores and poorer patient care results.

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