Understanding HCAHPS

HCAHPS, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, is a patient satisfaction survey developed by CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) for measuring hospital care from the patient’s perspective. The survey is randomly sent to recently discharged adult inpatients.

Its goals are to:

  1. Produce comparable data on the patient’s perspective and meaningful comparisons between hospitals.
  2. Create incentives for hospitals to improve quality of care.
  3. Increase transparency of the quality of hospital care.

Why is HCAHPS important?

The survey and its results are important for several reasons:

  • The survey is the voice of the patient – it gives Lane insight into the patient’s perception of the care we provide.
  • The survey results are publicly reported on the internet for all to see – results impact our reputation.
  • The government will reimburse us on results – excellent survey results keep the hospital financially strong.

The survey provides “apples to apples” comparisons to be made across hospitals.  It does not rank hospitals as better or worse performers; it simply posts the information for consumers to form their own conclusions.

What does the HCAHPS survey ask about?

Survey dimensions include:

  • Communication with Nurses - respect, listening skills, explaining so patients understand
  • Communication with Doctors - respect, listening skills, communication ability
  • Hospital Environment - cleanliness and quietness of the hospital
  • Food Services – quality of food
  • Staff Responsiveness - answering call lights, responding to bathroom needs.
  • Pain Management – keeping pain under control
  • Communication about Medications – explaining medications to patients
  • Discharge Information – preparing patients to leave the hospital
  • Overall Rating of the Hospital – rating the hospital on a scale of 1-10
  • Transition of Care – taking patient preferences into account regarding discharge plans, preparing patients to manage their health and understand the purpose of their medications upon discharge

What is the rating scale of the HCAHPS survey?

Patients are asked to rate the survey dimensions using the following scale:

NEVER - SOMETIMES - USUALLY – ALWAYS

How do HCAHPS scores impact Lane Regional Medical Center?

The hospital’s reimbursement from CMS is directly linked to our patient performance scores on the survey. The results are taken seriously and used to help improve quality of care.

For more details, please visit: www.cms.gov