Meriter Hospital Rooms Equipped With Patient-Selected Music

When Meriter Hospital chose to relocate and redesign their Digestive Health Center, they called on the Madison-based AV architects of Pridham Electronics to outfit the new rooms with patient-selected music. The clinical staff wanted to create a warm, and welcoming environment for patients to reduce pre-procedure stress. The Meriter Digestive Health Center, which includes twenty-one new patient admit and recovery rooms and six new procedure rooms, provides prevention, early detection and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders to more than 6,500 patients from Madison and surrounding communities each year.

Pridham’s systems designer, Dustin Boyle, in turn called on Ashly Audio’s new pêma powered processor to perform all of the system’s DSP and amplification in just two rack spaces, replacing what would have formerly been a full rack of power-hungry gear. Ashly’s pêma delivers breakthrough performance at a breakthrough price-point. It accepts up to eight inputs and delivers eight amplified outputs with full open-architecture DSP for signal processing and signal logic. With only input sources and loudspeakers, pêma handles the rest.

As such, the setup at Meriter’s Digestive Health Center is simple. A six-channel satellite music receiver provides signal to six of the Ashly pêma’s eight inputs. The other two inputs are used for paging sources, one from the hospital’s main desk and one from the unit’s nurses station. One of the pêma’s eight amplifier outputs provides signal to the area’s main hallways and lobbies. The remaining seven travel to each of the rooms, where a simple switch allows user-selection and a rotary pot controls volume. The only nuance is that in each room, clever wiring allows pages to override both source and volume settings, ensuring that pages are heard even if the music volume is all the way down.

The rest of the system’s equipment is uncomplicated. Atlas 16-watt coaxial ceiling speakers convert the musical electricity into musical sound waves, and a Furman BlueBOLT CV1 network interface card (the only companion to the pêma in the rack!) augments pêma’s built-in network functionality to allow every aspect of system performance to be monitored and controlled remotely. Standing separately, a collection of Atlas self-generating noise units masks conversations in the registration area, in keeping with HIPPA patient privacy regulations.

“The Ashly PEMA did just about everything for us: input EQ and dynamics conditioning, logic routing, and output equalization,” said Boyle. “Normally, we would have used a rack full of DSPs and amplifiers for a job of this size. The pêma only takes up two rack spaces! Moreover, the head-end programming couldn’t have been easier or faster. The programming software is intuitive and quick. It all went in without a hitch. Honestly, we spent way more time putting in the loudspeakers.”