Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D. Blog

Thoughts and ideas on healthcare

Hi, and welcome to my blog! I'm Susan E. Mazer -- a knowledge expert and thought leader on how the environment of care impacts the patient experience. Topics I write about include safety, satisfaction, hospital noise, nursing, care at the bedside, and much more. Subscribe below to get email notices so you won't miss any great content.

  • Reducing Disquiet at Night Requires More than White Noise

    March 23, 2018

    Anxiety grows in the dark. Apprehension writes full stories of an uneasy future in the middle of the night. Sleep is elusive when subjected to medications, high level of acuity, strange sounds and strange people. So, can there be any “quiet at night?” Disquiet is its opposite, but not caused by external events.  Rather, disquiet

    Read more >
  • Can Hospital Noise Be Canceled by Other Noise?

    May 18, 2017

    This is the big question when thinking about how to reduce the negative effects of hospital noise on patients. Noise is a sound that is unwanted, abrasive, distracting, irrelevant, and annoying. It has no distinct, uniform characteristics as being a “noise.” It is a quality assigned by listeners to what they are hearing. The acoustic

    Read more >
  • Encore Post: What’s the Difference Between Sound Control & Noise Control?

    March 24, 2017

    Yes, noise can be loud.  But, loud is not necessarily noisy. The sound of a 100-piece symphony orchestra played at fortissimo can be breathtaking and passionate, and hardly considered noise by those who love classical music. And, the sound of a distorted talk radio coming from another room can be very annoying, although the measured

    Read more >
  • ICU Anxiety: When the Sounds of Silence Become Hospital Noise

    February 24, 2017

    Hospital noise is a patient satisfaction indicator.  It’s also is the number one cause of sleep deprivation. We don’t know how patients define noise, what differentiates a “noise” from a “sound” — other than one is annoying and the other may be informing or communicating. This is why the resolution of hospital noise has not

    Read more >
  • Hospital Noise: The Issue That Just Won’t Go Away

    September 16, 2016

    In reviewing my posts from the past year, I discovered that have not written about hospital noise for a while. I have, however, given presentations about hospital noise, offering my opinions and sympathy about it — because so much work has been invested in this issue and it just will not go away. So, rather

    Read more >
  • Making Noise about Patient Safety

    May 29, 2015

    I have been writing about hospital noise for many years. And, I am convinced that much of the conversation and rationale behind reducing noise is wrong. I say that because when we talk about noise as a sound, we get into a question of “how loud.”  However, when we look at the outcomes of what

    Read more >
  • Sound Control vs. Noise Control: What’s the Difference?

    September 5, 2014

    Yes, noise can be loud.  But, loud is not necessarily noisy.  The sound of a 100-piece symphony orchestra played at fortissimo can be breathtaking and passionate, and hardly considered noise by those who love classical music. And, the sound of a distorted talk radio coming from another room can be very annoying, although the measured

    Read more >
  • Addressing Hospital Noise: How to Create a Sound Quality Committee

    August 1, 2014

    Creating a Sound Quality Committee is one of the best strategies to address hospital noise. It’s also a good way to put accountability for the sound environment on those who have direct contact with patients. But who should be on the committee, how do you recruit them, and what should they do? Those on the

    Read more >
  • Reducing Hospital Noise: What Do We Do First?

    May 16, 2014

    Last week I did a webinar for The Center for Health Design on the built environment, patient outcomes, and  hospital noise. I spoke about the two-part patient experience in relationship to an existing hospital room: 1) what can be controlled (dynamic space); and 2) the fixed walls, windows, doors, floors, and ceilings (fixed space). When

    Read more >
  • Patients, Privacy, and Hospital Noise

    December 13, 2013

    I have been writing and speaking about hospital noise and patient privacy for more years than I care to remember and have come to the conclusion that no matter how we wrap it, hospital noise is an unruly child and patient privacy has been kidnapped by HIPAA. Further, the two seldom meet for coffee and

    Read more >