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.


Are You Ready to Improve the Patient Experience With Virtual Reality?

November 10, 2017

The speed with which media technologies have changed in my lifetime is astounding. My parents listened to the radio. When I was six years old, we got a television. After that came stereo sound. Then cassettes and CDs. Computers. DVDs.  The Internet.  Smart phones. Now: Virtual Reality! However, while the application of media technologies in

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  • Patient in Bed with Doctor

    “N” of One Holds the Key to the Patient Experience

    November 3, 2017

    Those of us in healthcare often talk about how difficult it is to study the patient experience because of variables that are not only complex but subjective and unique. How do we generalize what can be only understood when we deeply investigate the circumstance and motivation for an individual patient’s answers to our questions? How do

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  • Nurse with patient

    Why the Work Environment of Nurses Matters

    October 27, 2017

    Having just returned from the ANCC Magnet conference, I am again aware of how the majority of healthcare consumers have very little idea how nurses think, what they do to protect their patients, how they find places of vulnerability where patients are at risk, and how critical their ongoing research is to community and family health.

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  • Patient Experience

    Can We Meaningfully Dissect the Patient Experience?

    October 20, 2017

    When value-based purchasing began, the patient experience was measured by the 31-question HCAHPS survey that sought to better understand what happened to patients from their point of view. But since none of the questions are actionable or easily generalized, is the HCAHPS survey really all that valuable?  What else do we need to know to

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  • Integrative Medicine and Patient Experience

    Is Integrative Medicine in Better Alignment With the New Patient Experience Model?

    October 13, 2017

    Last month, billionaires Henry and Susan Samueli donated $200 million to the University of California Irvine to build a College of Health Sciences that will incorporate integrative health research, teaching, and patient care across its schools and programs. The pushback has been rather dramatic. Medical school faculty at U.C. Irvine immediately criticized this facility. Others

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  • Newborn hand around Mom's finger

    The Invaluable Nature of Patient Stories

    October 6, 2017

    I have written about patient stories before. I have even told my own patient story. And last week, I heard another memorable patient story. Kristen Terlizzi, the keynote speaker at the Beryl Institute Regional Roundtable in Palo Alto, Calif., provided carefully thought out detail about her a high-risk pregnancy and subsequent rare condition called placenta accreta.

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  • shared decision-making

    7 Things You Can Do To Support Shared Decision-Making

    September 22, 2017

    This month, Mayo Clinic’s medical education journal published an article by Texas A&M Professor Leonard L. Berry and others about “Hostage Bargaining Syndrome” (HBS). HBS is what happens when the power differential between physicians and patients is perceived to be a barrier to shared decision-making. The only difference between patients and their caregivers – whether physicians,

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  • dreamstime_m_51174289

    Hurricane Harvey: Did Houston Have a Massive Stroke?

    September 8, 2017

    Looking at the word cloud, STROKE, the words that stand out include danger, disability, prevention, signs, early warning. This pretty much covers a current discussion and practice to prevent strokes, diagnose and treat as soon as possible, and minimize long-term damage. Strokes can be catastrophic. They can cause a loss of personhood, with the damage

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  • HOPE new growth

    Houston: As the Flood Waters Came, So Did Courage and Compassion

    September 1, 2017

    Hope bursts through our tears from which life begins again, like the sprout from the stone. Watching the flooding in Houston is painful. Not as painful as being in the flood, but painful that we cannot know what suffering, fear, and tragedies are occurring right now. And painful because we feel we can do nothing

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  • Steelcase_Family Support

    Addressing the Needs of Family in Patient Room Design

    August 25, 2017

    It’s safe to assume that anywhere from 1-25 people are impacted when a person is hospitalized. Those people could be parents, siblings, a spouse, children, adult children, other relatives, co-workers, employees, neighbors, and more. So, it makes sense that healthcare professionals talk about practicing patient- and family-centered care. And there is more to consider. Patients

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  • Mother and Baby

    Moms, Babies, and the Physical Environment Where They Meet

    August 18, 2017

    In all cases, the physical environment into which an infant is born can either promote or hinder growth, wellness, and development. Stress in the mother transfers to stress in the infant. Studies that were done to understand the developmental issues of pre- and full-term infants were published in the annals of neonatal research in the

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