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2016 Edition, July 19, 2016

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American National Standard Criteria for Evaluating Speech Privacy in Healthcare Facilities

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2016 Edition, July 19, 2016
  • Published Date: July 19, 2016
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: Acoustical Society of America (ASA)
  • Page Count: 26
  • ANSI Approved: Yes
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

This standard provides a relationship between speech privacy descriptors and speech privacy expectations for various enclosed and open-plan healthcare spaces. Descriptors used to characterize speech privacy expectation are the articulation index (AI)1 and the privacy index (PI).

This standard also provides design criteria for achieving acceptable speech privacy in health-care facilities including treatment rooms, clinicians' offices, pharmacies, reception/waiting areas, etc.

This standard provides covered entities, architectural design teams, acoustical consultants, and regulators guidelines and objective criteria for designing healthcare facilities that provide sufficient speech privacy to protect personal health information (PHI) as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The standard also provides general guidance on the relationship between expectations of speech privacy and objective descriptors used to evaluate speech privacy.

The annexes also provide guidance on how speech privacy can be obtained in different types of architectural spaces and circumstances, and how to objectively evaluate speech privacy to verify conformance with these criteria.


This standard applies to all healthcare-related architectural spaces where patient medical and financial information is communicated orally and where an unintended casual listener may be present.

This standard applies to the technical implementation of the federal HIPAA and HITECH regulations relative to oral communication of patient personal health information.