Reduction in caesarean births due to innovative sensory concept

Wave noise, subdued light, and soothing nature images, which are important elements of Wavecare’s sensory delivery rooms, have led to fewer acute cesarean births, a reduction in medication intake, and greater patient satisfaction.

In 2013, a public-private innovation partnership (PPP) between North Zealand Hospital, Phillips and Danish company Wavecare resulted in the development and establishment of sensory delivery rooms. The sensory delivery rooms have been continuously refined and optimized from an innovative experimental project to a scalable product that is now in demand in other Danish hospitals - and has even made its way to China.

The sensory delivery rooms show how public-private collaborations can enhance the quality of public welfare for the benefit of patients, relatives, and employees. The sensory delivery rooms are also a good example of collaboration across the public and private sectors in the healthcare system to create new and beneficial products that can be scaled up quickly. As a result, a large number of Danish and Chinese hospitals have established sensory delivery rooms.

A sensory delivery room has the same facilities as an ordinary delivery room but is also equipped with a special wall-to-wall display, with dynamic LED light in calming colors and specially designed sound programs such as wave ripples, all of which help to change the atmosphere in the delivery room. In this way, a sensory delivery room creates a more relaxed and homely atmosphere and seems less clinical than the classic delivery room, which has a soothing effect on the patients.

Research shows the positive effect of sensory delivery rooms and a study from 2019, published in the scientific journal Nature - International Journal of Science, also shows that sensory delivery rooms have a positive effect on births. The researchers behind the study have compared 476 births in ordinary delivery rooms with 313 births in sensory delivery rooms during the same period at the North Zealand Hospital, and the study shows that the births in sensory delivery rooms have less acute cesareans. At the ordinary delivery rooms, 10.7 percent of the births were acute cesareans, while the figure was only 6.4 percent at the sensory delivery rooms. According to the study, sensory delivery rooms can, therefore, reduce the number of cesarean births by one for every 23 births.

Sensory delivery rooms ensure higher patient satisfaction and a better working environment. An evaluation of patient satisfaction shows that 93 percent of the patients believed that the sensory delivery rooms had a very positive impact on their total experience. 74 percent of the women felt that the sensory delivery rooms had a positive impact on reducing the pain.

Additionally, the sensory delivery rooms help to ensure a better working environment for the midwives by creating a soothing and relaxed environment. This is the case, for example, if complications arise during night watches, where it may be easier for the staff to maintain the natural circadian rhythm when working in a sensory room.

The positive effect of the sensory delivery rooms has resulted in North Zealand Hospital establishing two more sensory delivery rooms in 2019, while Slagelse Hospital has chosen to install Wavecare's sensory delivery room concept in all delivery rooms. Wavecare has also provided the delivery room concept to Rigshospitalet, Hvidovre and Nykøbing Falster Hospital, while especially Chinese hospitals have also opened their eyes to Wavecare's innovative solution.