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.


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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shared decision-making
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Encore Post: What’s the Difference Between Patient Satisfaction & Patient Experience?

    July 28, 2017

    When I heard Press Ganey Founder Irwin Press speak many years ago, he offered the perspective of an anthropologist, looking at healthcare as a culture and the factors that inform and define it. Press hoped that focusing on patient satisfaction, where the patient was given a voice in understanding what happened during a hospitalization would be

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    Where Does Patient Privacy Sit in the Patient Experience?

    July 20, 2017

    The HCAHPS survey is silent on patient privacy. In fact, so are patient satisfaction surveys. Silent. This could be because we have handed the responsibility over to HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which only protects data privacy and medical records. However, HIPAA is a very distant concern to patients. Patients

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    What’s the Patient Experience Really About?

    July 7, 2017

    Such a great question. Since it moved to value-based purchasing, the U.S. healthcare industry has been focusing on the patient experience, trying to measure it using 31 questions on the HCAHPS survey. What we’re ignoring, however, is the day-to-day challenges that patients are dealing with in their lives and the social determinants that influence their

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    Do No Harm Includes Pain Management

    June 23, 2017

    Recently, I had a discussion with a retired physician from the Veteran’s Administration. She expressed her frustration over the urgent need for pain medication and the lack of time to do the requisite research and education for the patient, which has contributed to the current opioid epidemic. I told her that I had a wisdom

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    25 Years of C.A.R.E.: How It All Started

    June 16, 2017

    Twenty-five years ago in June 1992, my husband Dallas Smith and I launched what was to become The C.A.R.E. Channel. We met through Rising Sun Records in 1984. However, I’d already been involved in working with nurses through the Center for Health Awareness in San Jose, CA. It was beginning this work that drew my

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    What Do We Know About Music and Music Therapy for the Sick and Tense?

    June 9, 2017

    Music has been used therapeutically for thousands of years. From David playing the harp for Saul to Aristotle and Plato declaring that no state leader is healthy without music, we have found that music adds an emotional and spiritual quality to our lives. Today, we know even more about the potential for music to be used

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