The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a survey system developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that allows patients to provide feedback about their hospital care. The 29 HCAHPS survey questions cover various aspects of care such as doctor and nurse communication, cleanliness and quietness of the hospital environment, pain management, responsiveness to patient needs, discharge instructions given by healthcare providers, overall rating of care, and the patient experience and willingness to recommend the hospital.
The Importance of Hospital Consumer Assessment
The importance of HCAHPS surveys cannot be overstated; the HCAHPS survey data offers crucial information for hospitals to assess their performance in providing quality care to patients. Research has found that higher patient ratings are associated with improved hospital quality and patient safety. Furthermore, HCAHPS surveys can be used to assess the impact of changes made in hospitals, such as new policies, procedures, or technology implementations.
One benefit of HCAHPS is that it provides a standardized approach for collecting information from patients about their experience, which can then be compared across different facilities and settings. By assessing patient experiences across different settings, hospitals are able to gain valuable insight into areas where they can improve or expand their services.
Creative Health Care Management Helps Hospitals and Healthcare Providers
Creative Health Care Management helps hospitals and healthcare providers to improve patient experiences by improving all relationships within the organization. The company helps individuals and teams in all disciplines and roles rediscover their commitment to healthcare and human caring which in turn fosters quality improvement.
HCAHPS surveys have been around since 2006 and are an important tool for hospitals to assess patient satisfaction and quality of care. The data collected through these surveys is used to inform decisions about hospital policies, procedures, staffing levels, and other areas that affect the quality of patient care. In addition, the information gathered from HCAHPS surveys has become increasingly important in determining reimbursement rates for hospitals from Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers.
What Are the HCAHPS Questions?
The HCAHPS survey questions are divided into eight sections, each designed to evaluate different aspects of patient care and help hospitals measure their performance.
Here are the 29 HCAHPS questions:
Quality of Nurse Care
1. During this hospital stay, how often did nurses treat you with courtesy and respect?
2. During this hospital stay, how often did nurses listen carefully to you?
3. During this hospital stay, how often did nurses explain things in a way you could understand?
4. During this hospital stay, after you pressed the call button, how often did you get help as soon as you wanted it?
Quality of Doctor Care
5. During this hospital stay, how often did doctors treat you with courtesy and respect?
6. During this hospital stay, how often did doctors listen carefully to you?
7. During this hospital stay, how often did doctors explain things in a way you could understand?
Quality of Hospital Environment
8. During this hospital stay, how often were your room and bathroom kept clean?
9. During this hospital stay, how often was the area around your room quiet at night?
Quality of Hospital Experience
10. During this hospital stay, did you need help from nurses or other hospital staff in getting to the bathroom or in using a bedpan?
11. How often did you get help in getting to the bathroom or in using a bedpan as soon as you wanted?
12. During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before?
13. Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for?
14. Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?
15. After you left the hospital, did you go directly to your own home, to someone else’s home, or to another health facility?
16. During this hospital stay, did doctors, nurses or other hospital staff talk with you about whether you would have the help you needed when you left the hospital?
17. During this hospital stay, did you get information in writing about what symptoms or health problems to look out for after you left the hospital?
Overall Hospital Rating
18. Using any number from 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst hospital possible and 10 is the best hospital possible, what number would you use to rate this hospital during your stay?
19. Would you recommend this hospital to your friends and family?
Aftercare and Home Recovery
20. During this hospital stay, staff took my preferences and those of my family or caregiver into account in deciding what my healthcare needs would be when I left.
21. When I left the hospital, I had a good understanding of the things I was responsible for in managing my health.
22. When I left the hospital, I clearly understood the purpose for taking each of my medications.
23. During this hospital stay, were you admitted to this hospital through the Emergency Room?
24. In general, how would you rate your overall health?
25. In general, how would you rate your overall mental or emotional health?
26. What is the highest grade or level of school that you have completed?
27. Are you of Spanish, Hispanic or Latino origin or descent?
28. What is your race? Please choose one or more.
29. What language do you mainly speak at home?
HCAHPS Surveys Goal
HCAHPS surveys want to accomplish four goals of:
1. To measure patients’ perspectives on services they received while in the hospital
2. To make sure that hospitals are providing quality care to their patients based on patient feedback
3. To compare how different hospitals are performing when it comes to delivering quality healthcare
4. To provide an incentive for hospitals to improve the quality of service they offer and encourage them to be more accountable
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the HCAHPS survey has become one of the most widely used satisfaction surveys for patient experience in healthcare. The results of the survey can help hospitals and other healthcare providers understand how their patients are feeling and what needs to be improved.
Enlist CHCM to Improve HCAHPS Scores
Healthcare providers can enlist the help of Creative Health Care Management to help them improve their performance.
The use of Relationship-Based Care® has been proven to positively impact the following outcomes:
- Patient safety, quality, and experience
- Employee engagement and satisfaction
- HCAHPS survey scores
Incorporating the See Me as a Person workshop as part of a Relationship-Based Care implementation helped one organization significantly improve percentile changes to the following HCAHPS patient experience questions.
- “communication with nurses”
- “nurses treat with courtesy/respect”
- “nurses listen carefully to you”
- “nurses explain in a way you understand”
How is the HCAHPS Survey Administered?
Hospitals can use a survey vendor or conduct HCAHPS surveys themselves through forms, mail, telephone or interactive voice response.
For patients, it’s also empowering to know that their feedback is being taken into consideration and used to help improve the quality of care they receive. This way, they can be more confident that the care they’re receiving is safe and of a high quality.
The Role of Healthcare Providers
HCAHPS questions are designed to help healthcare providers better understand their patient population. By understanding how patients perceive their hospital experience, healthcare providers can make adjustments and improve the quality of care they provide. For example, if a hospital is receiving low scores on communication with nurses, they may need to look at ways to improve nurse training or communication protocols.
As such, it’s important for healthcare providers to take HCAHPS seriously and use the information they gain from it to make improvements. The questions provide valuable insights into patient satisfaction that can guide healthcare providers in making important decisions about how to improve their services.
Overall, HCAHPS is a tool for hospitals and other healthcare organizations to measure patient satisfaction and improve quality of care. By understanding what patients think about their experience with a hospital or clinic, healthcare providers can make changes that improve the overall quality of care they provide.
A Patient-Centered Hospital Environment
One of the ways to foster a patient-centered hospital environment is to measure patients’ satisfaction with the care they receive. After all, it’s the patient who is the ultimate judge of their care. The HCAHPS survey is a great tool for hospitals to keep track of the quality of care they provide to their patients and get an idea of how they are perceived.
Additional tips for fostering a patient-centered hospital environment include:
- Make sure patients’ expectations are met by delivering excellent care.
- Ensure that communication between doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals is effective and timely.
- Encourage staff to provide emotional support for their patients beyond the medical care they receive.
- Provide educational materials about diseases, treatments, and health maintenance so that patients can make informed decisions about their own care plans.
- Promote a welcoming atmosphere that allows patients to feel comfortable and respected during their stay.
- Make sure to provide a safe and clean environment for patients.
- Make patient satisfaction surveys an important part of your hospital’s quality improvement efforts, using the HCAHPS questions as a guide.
- Make sure that patient grievances and complaints are addressed in a timely and satisfactory manner.
- Provide feedback to staff about any areas that need improvement.
- Ensure that the hospital’s facilities and services are up-to-date and meet the needs of your patients.
By following these tips, hospitals can create an environment in which patients feel respected, valued, and heard, creating a positive experience for everyone involved. Creative Health Care Management can help you improve your organizations HCAHPS scores.