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.

LATEST POST

The Patient At Risk: Ever Hear of Germ Theory Denialism?

January 19, 2018

I had never heard of Germ Theory Denialism, either. When Louis Pasteur theorized that “germs” caused disease in the 19th century, he and Florence Nightingale had a rigorous debate. The belief that bad air from pollution, exhalation from the lungs of the ill, and unhealthy vapors caused disease had held since the Greeks. In fact,

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hand washing
  • CVS Minute Clinic

    The Patient Experience is Everywhere

    January 12, 2018

    Healthcare is again changing and with it, the understanding of the patient experience. For example, my insurance will let me go to a CVS Pharmacy or Minute Clinic for things like immunizations and vaccinations.  Am I a customer or a patient? However, it does not feel like I am a “patient” in the most traditional

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  • Homeless man in DC

    A New Look at Whole Person Care

    January 5, 2018

    This past year, healthcare has taken both steps forward and steps back. In many ways, healthcare leaders remain stuck and unable to agree on what the major issues are: disease or cost? Staffing or safety? Population health or reimbursement? Improving Health With Whole Person Care In a recent post on Managed HealthCare Executive, healthcare CEO Leanne Berge calls

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  • Elder care

    Moving to Person-Directed Care

    December 15, 2017

    With his permission, I am sharing an excerpt from blog post written by a dear friend, George Drake, that speaks to the issue of person-directed care in residential care facilities. When my husband Dallas Smith and I met George in the late 1980s, he was teaching math at Lake Tahoe Community College. And, he was also

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  • Population Health

    Population Health is About More Than Just Treating the Body

    December 8, 2017

    While healthcare is increasing its dependence on data, exactly which data matters to the quality of care remains in limbo. Population health is about data and people.  It is about the “collective” and the “individual.”  And, in both cases, the question is about which data helps the patient that is in your clinic, emergency room,

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  • Thanksgiving

    Football, Food, and Family: Thanksgiving in America

    November 24, 2017

    There is an ideal picture of the American Thanksgiving that portrays lots of food on a large table surrounded by multiple generations of family members. Then, in more recent decades, before and after dinner: football. In my family’s house, our father had a rare day off and Thanksgiving was one of them.  He was glued

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  • C.A.R.E.-VR-web

    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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