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.

  • Honoring Dr. Leland R. Kaiser’s Legacy of Healing Health Care

    January 18, 2019

    If we are fortunate in our pursuit of meaningful work, we will find a mentor, a leader who will help us find our way. A guide who will let us know that no matter what is going on around us, we can put on the blinders of “purpose and mission” and move forward. I was

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  • What Do Patient Satisfaction Surveys & the HCAHPS Survey Tell Us?

    July 29, 2016

    There are many similarities between patient experience surveys and the HCAHPS survey. They are both directed to patients, they both have multiple-choice questions, and they are both used to help hospitals improve the quality of care. And, yet, they each ask totally different questions and provide totally different kinds of information. Breaking Down the Surveys A patient

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  • Nothing But Words: Does HCAHPS Truly Measure the Patient Experience?

    June 24, 2016

    Contrary to what some might think, the patient experience movement wasn’t inspired by just one event or just one speech. It has a history, a kind of genealogy. From Wikipedia: “The word patient originally meant ‘one who suffers’. This English noun comes from the Latin word patiens, the present participle of the deponent verb, patior, meaning ‘I

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  • The Patient Experience Lives in the Details

    February 19, 2016

    We are buried in the patient experience metrics, advice, processes, workshops, and standards. And, while the HCAHPS survey has reduced the patient experience to its 31 multiple choice questions, much of what matters to the patient can be better understood in the questions not asked. HCAHPS asks: “During your stay, how often did nurses treat

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  • HCAHPS Scores: Mind the Gap Between the Survey and the Answers

    August 8, 2014

    In thinking about the history of regulatory accountability, HCAHPS has no precedent.  As a measurement tool, it has many gaps, including a gap between intention and outcomes and a gap between the culture of the hospital and the culture of the patient. There are also gaps between what the HCAHPS questions ask, what they really

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  • All HCAHPS Scores Being Equal: Caregiver as Patient

    June 27, 2014

    “The only difference between the patient and the caregiver is acuity.” So said hospital CEO Pat Linton so many years ago.  And, nothing has changed. Being human puts us at parity with each other more than we may realize. We all want pretty much the same things: respect, safety, community, comfort — and to be

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  • HCAHPS Survey Questions Not Really About the Patient

    June 13, 2014

    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

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  • 5 Questions to Add to the HCAHPS Survey

    June 6, 2014

    The word “flourish” is relatively new as a humanistic goal for healthcare — for patients, staff, and our communities. And, it is an easy word to say but so difficult to define, particularly in this era of HCAHPS surveys. I’m not sure of the difference between thriving and flourishing. However, I know that when we

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  • When HCAHPS Scores and Patient Satisfaction Surveys Become Irrelevant

    January 24, 2014

    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. So, I feel it’s critical to fully understand the limitations of HCAHPS scores and patient

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  • HCAHPS and Jeopardy

    Encore Post: HCAHPS Version of Jeopardy – Coming Soon to a Hospital Near You

    January 17, 2014

    Welcome to the game of “Jeopardy 2,” the HCAHPS version of the most popular quiz game on television! Today, we are going to provide some online clues and you have to guess the appropriate HCAHPS question to match the clue.

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