ASTM WK38992

    New Test Method for Test Method for the Evaluation of Speech Privacy in Closed Space Healthcare Facilities

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    Developed by Subcommittee: E33.02 | Committee E33 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    Speech privacy is a concern addressed by the HIPAA regulations in all healthcare facilities, which requires that reasonable safeguards be provided to ensure the confidentiality of protected medical and financial information about patients. This standard is expected to be applied to cases of overheard conversations between 2 closed spaces, such as patient treatment rooms, doctors offices, patient rooms,etc, or between one of these closed rooms to an adjacent open area, such as a corridor, waiting area, registration area, etc. This standard specifies a measurement method to determine the noise reduction between 2 locations of interest for the talker and unintended Listener, and a statistical source level for the talker represented as a % of time not exceeded. This methodology will result in an expression of the intruding sound level that will not be exceeded by % of time, such as 10%, 5%, 1%, etc. The actual Privacy Level expectation can be calculated with inclusion of the measured background noise level.

    Requirements for speech privacy are already dictated in GGHC (green guide for healthcare), FGI (facility guidelines institute), and requirements are currently being developed at ASA for an ANSI performance standard. All of these will require that a standard method be available for the verification of speech privacy performance in healthcare spaces.


    oral privacy, confidential

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Kenneth Roy

    Draft Under Development