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.

  • C.A.R.E. VRx

    Virtual reality for Non-Pharmaceutical Pain Management

    March 22, 2019

    At a recent workshop, I presented on pain and the patient experience an exasperated participant asked, “What can I do for my patient who is screaming for more pain medication when they have just had it?!” This question and event occurs every minute of every nurse’s day. What should we do when drug options have

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  • When Pain is Pain

    September 21, 2018

    Pain teaches us what it is very early on in life. We learn that if we hurt, we get a kiss, or something extraordinary from someone bigger than we are, telling us “now, it doesn’t hurt any more, right?” However, sometimes we learn differently and suddenly and unforgettably. When I was a child, I had

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  • Pain Management: What Do We Do When We Run Out of Opioids?

    June 29, 2018

    Now that production of injectable opioids in the U.S. has stalled because of manufacturing problems and a regulatory limit that cut production by more than 25%, clinicians at hospitals are under even more pressure to find alternatives for pain management. Covered alternatives to opioids, however, may be hard to find. According to a recent study

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  • What Happens When Patient Pain is Dismissed and Under-Treated?

    April 6, 2018

    This month, at the Beryl Institute Patient Experience Conference in Chicago, I was speaking about pain management and the patient experience. In the past 15 months, I’ve been researching the long history of patient pain as it has driven both medical and nursing practice, exploring the patterns of understanding and treatment that have resulted in

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  • 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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  • Do No Harm Includes Pain Management

    June 23, 2017

    Recently, I had a discussion with a retired physician from the Veteran’s Administration. She expressed her frustration over the urgent need for pain medication and the lack of time to do the requisite research and education for the patient, which has contributed to the current opioid epidemic. I told her that I had a wisdom

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  • How Can Patients Be More Involved in Their Pain Management?

    April 14, 2017

    The Opioid Epidemic is the result of relying solely on drugs to remove all pain. But, it’s time to rethink what is possible when patients are fully involved in understanding and contributing to their own pain management. Bringing pain down to a manageable level may not be removing it.  However, it allows patients to safely

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  • Pain Management: Life-Supporting or Life-Threatening?

    October 14, 2016

    Without question, pain is the only symptom that crosses all ages, diagnoses, and specialties. One of the best solutions ever developed for pain management was aspirin, followed by every other pill that came from the realization that pain could be treated, if not eliminated, by using drugs. But now we’ve realized that using morphine and

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  • Removing Pain Management Questions is Not the Answer

    August 12, 2016

    When I first read about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ proposal to remove the pain management questions from the HCAHPS survey to combat the opioid epidemic, I thought it was strange. However, as I learned more, it became clear that the link between HCAHPS and the opioid epidemic is because more may be considered

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  • Pain Management is More Than Drugs

    September 20, 2013

    My darling niece, Jessica, at three and a half years of age has already learned all she needs to know about pain management. What she does first is declare what hurts.

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