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.

Reader’s Choice: Top 10 Blog Posts in 2014

December 12, 2014

Top 10This past year, I wrote 43 blog posts about a variety of topics related to healthcare.  Topics that resonated the most with readers were posts on patient experience, hospital noise, HCAHPS, and patient safety.

This isn’t surprising, since these are the top-of-mind issues for most of us in healthcare. So, in case you missed them, here are my top 10 most-read blog posts in 2014:

1. 5 Steps to Optimize the Patient Experience
It’s time that we move from hypothesizing about the ideal patient experience to actually taking personal responsibility for making it happen. But how do you start? Here are five simple steps…

2. ICU-Acquired Weakness: Powerlessness in Recovery
Recently, The New England Journal of Medicine published an article about ICU-acquired weakness. The authors explore the physiological (neurological) outcomes of having an critical illness, being administered strong medications, being intubated, and otherwise being unable to move…

3. Reducing Hospital Noise: What Do We Do First?
Last week I did a webinar for The Center for Health Design on the built environment, patient outcomes, and hospital noise. I spoke about the two-part patient experience in relationship to an existing hospital room: 1) what can be controlled (dynamic space); and 2) the fixed walls, windows, doors, floors, and ceilings (fixed space). When it came time to discuss how to fix the problem of hospital noise, the question was asked, “What do we do first?”…

4. When HCAHPS Scores and Patient Satisfaction Surveys Become Irrelevant
While the healthcare industry is focused on measuring outcomes, we have also reduced the human outcomes to multiple choice tests. Probably most people who take these tests guess at the most likely approved answer rather than what is actually true…

5. “Do No Harm” is Not Enough for Anymore for Patient Safety
Florence Nightingale was not only the Mother of Modern Nursing; she also was the Mother of Healthcare Design and Patient Safety. She demanded ongoing documentation of patient progress and invented the nurse call system. She actually saw all of this as nursing — taking responsibility for the sick and preventing unnecessary suffering and death…

6. What Happens to Patients When the Lights Go Out
I found the term “nocturnal rumination” in a recent study on insomnia in palliative care patients in the ICU. Basically, it’s obsessive thinking when the lights go out. The study noted that many factors have been studied about ICU patients. However, insomnia has not been suspected or diagnosed…

7. HCAHPS Survey Questions Not Really About the Patient
Building on my post from last week, healthcare providers ask patients lots of questions to find out if caregivers did their jobs right. And, from my own experience as a patient in a hospital last year, I don’t think the main question has never been asked. In fact, if we lump all the HCAHPS survey questions together, none of them are actually about the patient…

8. Good Sounds, Bad Sounds: What Matters for Hospital Noise
You may have seen the article in the Wall St. Journal a couple of weeks ago on hospital noise. Instead of focusing on sounds that are too loud, annoying, and most distracting to patients as most stories in the general press do, it looked at “good” sounds. But I think there is a bigger issue than what are good and bad sounds in hospitals…

9. When Patient Safety is Everyone’s Safety
While I have written about patient safety many times, I don’t feel that I have nailed the case for “safety collectivism” — the idea that keeping everyone safe starts by taking care of one. Current safety regulations almost make safety about the regulation itself rather than about doing what is ethically obligated because we are “entrusted with the health of another,” as Florence Nightingale put it…

10. The Patient Experience: What Matters?
In all of the writings about the patient experience, few ask the foundational question, “What matters?” While ambiguous and global, this question is primary to any experience as it defines our focus and our bottom line concerns in ways that details often miss. If we asked ourselves what matters to us when we go to see the doctor, we might come up with the following list…

Which topic resonates most with you?

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