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.

  • COVID-19: When Fear Is a Risk Factor and the News, a Pathogen

    March 12, 2020

    Global, natural, and man-made disasters have become a painfully common occurrence. In the last two years, the world has faced hurricanes and earthquakes, mass shootings, terrorists driving trucks into crowds, and a recurrence of measles, whooping-cough, and tuberculosis. Now, we have COVID-19, a virus that remains unknown while it spreads throughout communities. What is new

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  • The Patient At Risk: Ever Hear of Germ Theory Denialism?

    January 19, 2018

    I had never heard of Germ Theory Denialism, either. When Louis Pasteur theorized that “germs” caused disease in the 19th century, he and Florence Nightingale had a rigorous debate. The belief that bad air from pollution, exhalation from the lungs of the ill, and unhealthy vapors caused disease had held since the Greeks. In fact,

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  • Patient Safety: The Tale of the Lost COW

    April 28, 2017

    Hospital corridors, by design, are wide. They have to accommodate people, wheelchairs, gurneys, computers, meal carts, and all sorts of other things. They just have to be wide. The risk of being wide, however, is that there is enough room to add more equipment, such as computers on wheels (COWs). Inevitably, these COWs wander from

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  • Why is Patient Safety in Its Own Bucket?

    March 17, 2017

    I have always wondered why patient safety is talked about by itself. As if all other procedures, policies, and practices are not about safety. And why should patient safety be separate from the patient experience? For staff, patient safety is a lot like playing in tune for a musician. Because regardless of how much technique,

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  • How Are Patient Safety and the Patient Experience Related?

    December 2, 2016

    I am confused.  How can patients have good experiences if they do not feel safe? And, how is patient safety evidenced beyond the accidents that do not happen? Safety precautions are ever present in our daily lives.  The wet floor caution sign in a public restroom; flashing lights on the road; the warnings at the

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  • Encore Post: “Do No Harm” is Not Enough Anymore for Patient Safety

    October 28, 2016

    Note:  This is a popular post from 2014 that is still relevant to the critical issue of 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

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  • When What We Believe and Practice is Outdated

    July 15, 2016

    Through the history of science, beliefs have been disproven by empirical evidence and still, whole societies have refused to be influenced by new information. In fact, science was once considered heresy by the Church and unexplainable events were considered satanic. The battle between science and faith is ongoing. We are now in the 21st Century.  Yet, we

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  • To Follow or Not: The Rules About Patient Safety

    June 17, 2016

    For the very first time ever, I was called for jury duty last week in the 2nd District Court in Washoe County, Nevada. I tried to think of some great excuse to get out of it, but, alas, none was to be had. So, I showed up on Monday, one among 45 other potential jurors. As

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  • Why Florence Nightingale Never had to Address Quality Care

    August 7, 2015

    Florence Nightingale so reminds me of my first harp teacher. She was intolerant of error for any reason whatsoever. In fact, there were no words one could offer that would excuse a mistake. None whatsoever. Nightingale was very clear. If a patient dies overnight who was not supposed to die, something was not seen, some

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  • Wrong Music in the Operating Room is Risky

    June 26, 2015

    Can listening to the wrong type of music cause accidents or medical errors? The Israeli Daily paper Haartetz reported this week that Warren Brodsky, Director of Music Psychology in the Department of the Arts at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, found that music effects mood and attitude which, in turn, effect driving.  He’s detailed his findings in a new book, Driving with Music:

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