The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA privacy law has been around since 1996, and began as part of a reform to healthcare privacy standards. Much of what the law covers is in regards to electronic transmissions, such as how confidential patient information is stored on computers or transmitted between organizations. However, the law has raised awareness that another equally important part of patient privacy is the direct verbal communication between doctors, patients and other healthcare professionals. When discussing confidential medical information in an exam room, for example, it is required that reasonable measures have been taken to prevent others from overhearing or for that information to be disclosed without consent. Thus the prevalence of HIPAA law has even led to changes in building design of healthcare facilities. The Facilities Guidelines Institute (FGI) maintains the most comprehensive guidelines available for noise control in healthcare facilities.

Due to these concerns there has been an increased interest in acoustical door designs in hospitals and clinics and medical office buildings applications. Modern integrated door and frame designs allow for superior sound isolation with acoustic seals. These doors offer substantial benefits for healthcare facilities of all types, including urgent care centers, clinics, and private medical offices or MOB’s of all types.

Particularly in busy offices with a many staff and multiple patients present at any given time, acoustically improved door designs keep private conversations private, or as the old saying goes “behind closed doors”.

For more information about HIPAA privacy law and how it applies to various types of facilities visit the following links:

HIPPA – Program Summary Page.

FGI – http://www.fgiguidelines.org/