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.

  • Palliative Care and Hospice: Walking With Us To the End of the Path

    November 16, 2018

    Years pass without much notice, especially as an adult child realizing how our parents age. For us, they seem to stay the same for years and years… then, as if overnight, they are old. They are more frail, slower in responding to us, unable to fully understand all that is going on around them, and,

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  • What Can We Do To Improve the Patient Experience of Dying?

    September 9, 2016

    It has been 40 years since Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) was introduced as the first right for a patient to refuse medical care. However, in a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Jeffrey P. Burns, M.D., M.P.H., and Robert D. Truog, M.D, state that the term and its respective use and meaning are still

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  • New Final Rule: Conversations with Patients Matter

    November 13, 2015

    Last month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) issued a final rule updating payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. It included a separate payment and a payment rate for clinicians to conduct advance care planning conversations with patients who are seriously ill.  In other words, Medicare will

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  • When Medicare Pays for End-of-Life Consultation

    July 10, 2015

    This week, there was a profound policy change by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that would allow reimbursements for end-of-life consultations between patients and their physicians. This is a welcome change from the “death panel” talks that stopped all forward movement on a critical issue of importance to all of us. The

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  • Palliative Care and Hospice: All About Living

    July 3, 2015

    Palliative care and hospice are often talked about together. So often, in fact,  that many of us are confused as to whether they are the same. Well, not so. Clearing up this confusion may increase the ways in which we take care of the chronically ill and aged. Hospice predates palliative care by about 30

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  • End of Life Care Decisions, Part 2: Knowing What to Do, When

    March 13, 2015

    The topic of end of life care has been on many of our minds recently. Last week I wrote about the choice between “do not resuscitate” (DNR) and “allow natural death” (AND) in end of life care. In a series of essays called “The End”, published by the New York Times last month, people who work in

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  • End of Life Care Decisions: DNR or AND?

    March 8, 2015

    The practices of end of life care globally are trapped in semantics, cultural demons, and fear. The term “do not resuscitate” or DNR, has not been around for hundreds of years. Rather it only came into use after we learned that we could bring someone back from the brink of death, that we could keep them

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  • Should Hospice Care Be More Regulated?

    February 6, 2015

    According to a recent report in the Huffington Post, regulation of hospice care in the U.S. is spotty at best, And, the risks common to hospices are not different than those in acute care hospitals: falls, infection, poor pain management. But, hospices are inspected far less often than nursing homes or hospitals (some only every six years) and few

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  • The Environment of Care as Palliative Care

    November 14, 2014

    Florence Nightingale said that the environment of care holds within it the key to relieve both pain and suffering.  And, the inverse is also true:  it can exacerbate pain and suffering. A study published this week by McMaster University about what patients find most valuable to discuss at end of life care revealed that most of the

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  • Transforming an ICU Bed Into a Hospice Bed

    August 15, 2014

    A patient in the ICU is pulled off of life-support.  The family is with him to support him while he is awaiting his last breath. What does this ICU patient room now look and feel like to the family?  Is it possible to shift the environment to better respect this sacred time? What would be

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