Traffic Lights used for noise control at St. Joseph's Hospital

Traffic Lights at St. Joseph's Hospital signal when it's too loud, to help patients recover faster

Staffers in some parts of St. Joseph's Hospital get some unique reminers, where they're getting a little too loud on the job: a traffic light changes to amber, or red.

"It's not in your face," says hospital spokesperson Kerri Howell. "In fact, the light is also attached to the lighting, so if you're not near the traffic signal, you can also be signaled by the lights dimming, and you know 'oops!' I'm getting too loud."

The Syracuse hospital got the idea from St. Margaret's School in Mattydale, where a traffic light was used to keep students in the cafeteria from getting too rowdy.

St. Joseph's has the traffic lights in several wards, including the newborn intensive care unit, and the cardiac care floor.

"There are studies that show that the quieter a unit is, that patients actually get better more quickly," says Howell. "That they recover better, that they can sleep when they need to sleep."