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.

Two Decades of C.A.R.E.

August 5, 2012

The C.A.R.E. Channel is 20 years old. And that means that all of us – the world, this country, and our healthcare system – are also two decades older. During that time, The C.A.R.E. Channel has undergone major developmental changes: first, it did not have a name until it was 5 years old – when C.A.R.E. (Continuous Ambient Relaxation Environment) emerged from one of those rare moments of inspiration.

In the beginning we delivered C.A.R.E. using VCR players and VHS tapes. From there we moved the content to MPEG-1, then MPEG-2, followed by H-264 and HD.  And the technological advances included a series of newer cameras and formats. Thus, The C.A.R.E. Channel has been, remains, and always will be a living program — new images with new and improved ways to enhance the environment.

As for the music, what started with my husband Dallas and I and soon included other wonderful musicians we knew who composed music appropriate to a healing environment.  Today, we license music from nearly 50 musicians/composers who are gratified to have their music available to patients and families.

So what began with the singular vision of our mission now encompasses the talent, skills, and dedication of many. And, the HHS staff adds the foundation of mission driven work to ensure that C.A.R.E. reaches hospitals and their patients.

Twenty years.  A long time and no time.  A day at a time.  Dallas and I stop almost daily, look at each other, and take awe at what has occurred, who has shown up to work with us, how many people supported our vision and how hospitals were so receptive from the start.

The current focus on patient-centered care…on family centered care…and for a healthcare system that is compassionate and accessible — along with the best of medicine and science — all of this inspires us to deepen our own vision and commitment.

This work began for us as a day-at-a-time — fully in the present — because we could not see the future.  And, still today, it is a day-at-a-time, and one patient at a time.