Susan E. Mazer’s 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.


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

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hospital noise
  • autumn-path

    What Can We Do To Improve the Patient Experience of Dying?

    September 9, 2016

    It has been 40 years since Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) was introduced as the first right for a patient to refuse medical care. However, in a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Jeffrey P. Burns, M.D., M.P.H., and Robert D. Truog, M.D, state that the term and its respective use and meaning are still

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  • Stroke word cloud

    When the Healthcare System Has a Stroke

    September 2, 2016

    Not sure you heard, but one of the arteries in the heart of the U.S. healthcare system collapsed. Yup, a stroke. Blockages abound; both brain and heart. In addition, the system suffers from obesity and malnutrition.

    Aetna is ending its participation in the state exchanges leaving millions abandoned without insurance, and with few options. Aetna is the largest insurer, but not the only one to exit the insurance exchanges.

    Their reason? “Too many sick people.”

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  • Happy Birthday candles

    Happy 20th Birthday, HIPAA!

    August 19, 2016

    Birthdays are always fun. Well, sometimes. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is 20 years old this year. It was born out of wedlock, the result of a union between an industry that cannot be trusted and patients who must be protected. No, there was no marriage because the economies could not be

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  • Pain Medication

    Removing Pain Management Questions is Not the Answer

    August 12, 2016

    When I first read about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ proposal to remove the pain management questions from the HCAHPS survey to combat the opioid epidemic, I thought it was strange. However, as I learned more, it became clear that the link between HCAHPS and the opioid epidemic is because more may be considered

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  • 5-star rating

    Overall Hospital Star Rating System is Seriously Flawed

    August 5, 2016

    When I first heard that CMS planned on introducing a hospital star rating system, I thought, “We’ve done it! We’ve finally reduced healthcare to 5 stars, like a Motel-8!” This is now a reality. CMS calls the star rating an “overall rating,” which considers 64 quality measures, many of them based on HCAHPS scores. And, as many

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  • Senior Man in Hospital bed alone

    What Do Patient Satisfaction Surveys & the HCAHPS Survey Tell Us?

    July 29, 2016

    There are many similarities between patient experience surveys and the HCAHPS survey. They are both directed to patients, they both have multiple-choice questions, and they are both used to help hospitals improve the quality of care. And, yet, they each ask totally different questions and provide totally different kinds of information. Breaking Down the Surveys A patient

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    When What We Believe and Practice is Outdated

    July 15, 2016

    Through the history of science, beliefs have been disproven by empirical evidence and still, whole societies have refused to be influenced by new information. In fact, science was once considered heresy by the Church and unexplainable events were considered satanic. The battle between science and faith is ongoing. We are now in the 21st Century.  Yet, we

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  • music as environmental design

    Music as Environmental Design: What Does the Patient Hear?

    July 8, 2016

    Today I walked to Starbucks about mile and a half from my home.  It’s a good way to get an early three-mile walk in before my day starts. I have done this for many years.  However, what I walked into today was very different. Once I got my soy latte, the friend I was with mentioned the music, which

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  • patient education

    Encore Post: Hospital Room as the Classroom of Recovery

    July 1, 2016

    Note:  This is a post from 2014 that is still relevant to the hot-button issue of preventing readmissions. There are many ways to learn.  However, the ultimate goal of all teaching is to transfer information from teacher to students so completely that what is learned cannot be unlearned. For patients, the information must be meaningful and motivational for

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    Nothing But Words: Does HCAHPS Truly Measure the Patient Experience?

    June 24, 2016

    Contrary to what some might think, the patient experience movement wasn’t inspired by just one event or just one speech. It has a history, a kind of genealogy. From Wikipedia: “The word patient originally meant ‘one who suffers’. This English noun comes from the Latin word patiens, the present participle of the deponent verb, patior, meaning ‘I

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