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.


Measuring the Patient Experience of Music and Nature: A New Study

May 26, 2017

“Not everything can be measured and not everything that can be measured, matters.” I am not sure when I heard this. But it always comes up when people talk about the validation and comparative value of qualitative and quantitative research. In response, more and more researchers are using mixed methodologies to seriously investigate the human

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    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

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  • Living the Life of a Nurse

    May 12, 2017

    This past summer I was on the faculty of a retreat in California for Oncology nurses. It was a three-day weekend event, drawing nurses from Northern, Southern, and Central California. The retreat was all about self-care, about defining and recovering from burnout — about living the life of a nurse. A nurse at the retreat

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    Patient Safety: The Tale of the Lost COW

    April 28, 2017

    Hospital corridors, by design, are wide. They have to accommodate people, wheelchairs, gurneys, computers, meal carts, and all sorts of other things. They just have to be wide. The risk of being wide, however, is that there is enough room to add more equipment, such as computers on wheels (COWs). Inevitably, these COWs wander from

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    What We Celebrate During Patient Experience Week, April 24-28

    April 21, 2017

    Healthcare has never been about anything but the patient experience. Florence Nightingale put it as the guiding mission in her Notes on Nursing. In Nightingale’s day, there were neither antibiotics nor pain meds. There was only the environment in which care was delivered and the active commitment by nurses to relieve patients’ suffering. Today, we

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  • Pain Management

    How Can Patients Be More Involved in Their Pain Management?

    April 14, 2017

    The Opioid Epidemic is the result of relying solely on drugs to remove all pain. But, it’s time to rethink what is possible when patients are fully involved in understanding and contributing to their own pain management. Bringing pain down to a manageable level may not be removing it.  However, it allows patients to safely

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  • The power of human exceptionalism to improve the patient experience

    Use The Power of Human Exceptionalism to Improve The Patient Experience

    March 31, 2017

    If there is a single quality unique to being human, it is self-awareness — that we know we are human as opposed to being anything else. And that we have a sense of identity unique from any other human being. My puppy, now almost 9 (!), does not know he is a dog.  He responds

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    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

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  • Buckets of paint

    Why is Patient Safety in Its Own Bucket?

    March 17, 2017

    I have always wondered why patient safety is talked about by itself. As if all other procedures, policies, and practices are not about safety. And why should patient safety be separate from the patient experience? For staff, patient safety is a lot like playing in tune for a musician. Because regardless of how much technique,

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    Is “A” Patient Experience “The” Patient Experience?

    March 10, 2017

    When the communities where we work, live, and heal became about large groups of people, we began to talk in terms of collective, shared and agreed upon values, perspectives, and goals. At the same time, we broke ourselves into demographics by age, income, education, ethnicity, and religion. Similarly, healthcare has divided us by actuarial charts,

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    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

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