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: Everything is Changing

April 10, 2020

As the caterpillar must yield life to become a butterfly, so must we yield to a new future.

The Patient Experience has changed healthcare. The fact that we are now prioritizing the humanity of our patients and allowing it to inform our healthcare practices is an irreversible positive change.

Pandemics & Social Change

And, so it is also true, that Pandemics cause social change. This has been made obvious by many studies over the years that rendered new social theories. We know that AIDS changed everything. We know that Polio, the deadly disease that is still alive and well, in the 1950s birthed the idea of collective vaccinations. We also know that Tuberculosis was and is deadly.

COVID-19 will also cause an unknown kind of social change. While I will be writing more about this, right now, I will focus on how COVID-19 is changing not only our healthcare system but also the relationships between different socio-economic groups.

Coronavirus & Equality

The Coronavirus Pandemic has taken our very defined class structure and made us all equal. It has also leveled the risks between patients and caregivers, between physicians and nurses and housekeepers and ICU vs ER staff. When the risks are equal, we are all equal. Pat Linton, former CEO of North Hawaii Community Hospital, so wisely stated that “the only difference between the patient and the caregiver is acuity.” Never has this been as obvious as it is right now. 

What happens when we are equal? It gives way to compassion, empathy, deeper caring, along with the anxiety, stress, and raw fear the coronavirus is causing. It makes titles almost irrelevant. What matters is the person, the work they do, the skills they have, and, more so, that they showed up to help.

For this, we can go back to the weight and critical nature the caring environment plays, because it too makes us equal.

The C.A.R.E. Channel, Your Patients, & Our Purpose

When we started producing The C.A.R.E. Channel, we wanted to provide an inclusive experience, one that would respond to the in-the-moment needs of everyone in the room. The coronavirus has prevented all visitations at hospitals. This means that the patient is more isolated than they’ve ever been. That is, isolated together with their caregivers, the nurses, housekeepers, respiratory therapists, and physicians. This elevates The C.A.R.E. Channel to an even more needed tool to help ease this shared sequestration. 

The news is both simultaneously needed and treacherous. Right now, it is all bad news. Maybe a hint of good, but not enough to make the scales tilt. However, trying to find an alternative is equally difficult. Because every program, dare I say everyone, is either talking about COVID-19 or ignoring it, and I am not sure which is more disturbing.

C.A.R.E. Programming is there for you, your patients, and your colleagues. Having it on all the time in a room with intubated patients is exactly what it is created for.

C.A.R.E. provides a 24-hour, uninterrupted experience of nature and music. It has been serving patients, staff, and families for 28 years. It can remind patients and staff of what makes life worth living, of the beauty that is permanent while this pandemic is temporary. 

At this moment, right now, here is an offering from our entire team, to all of you to help get through these uncertain and ever-changing times.