FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

What is the Survey of Patients' Hospital Experiences (HCAHPS)?

HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is a national, standardized survey of hospital patients. HCAHPS (pronounced "H-caps") was created to publicly report the patient's perspective of hospital care. The survey asks a random sample of recently discharged patients about important aspects of their hospital experience.

The HCAHPS results posted on Hospital Compare allow consumers to make fair and objective comparisons between hospitals, and of individual hospitals to state and national benchmarks, on ten important measures of patients' perspectives of care.

HCAHPS was developed by a partnership of public and private organizations. Development of the survey was funded by the Federal government, specifically the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

For more on HCAHPS information, please see Information for Professionals on this website, or visit the official HCAHPS website: www.hcahpsonline.org.

How is the HCAHPS survey data prepared for reporting to the public on this website?

  • Data analysis is done by CMS, not by the hospitals.
    CMS uses an independent contractor to analyze the HCAHPS survey data and prepare it for reporting.
     
  • Data analysis is designed to help ensure fair comparisons among hospitals.
    Preparing the data for public reporting includes taking certain factors into account in ways that help ensure fair comparisons among hospitals. For example, the mix of patients can differ from one hospital to the next, and these differences in the patient mix can affect a hospital's HCAHPS results. Data preparation takes these differences into account so that the survey results reported on this website are what would be expected for each hospital if all hospitals had a similar mix of patients.

What survey was used to get feedback from patients?

  • The HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey was used to collect the feedback reported on this website tool.
    This survey asks patients about their experiences with medical, surgical, or maternity care during a recent overnight stay in the hospital.
     
  • The HCAHPS survey allows consumers to make fair and objective comparisons between hospitals.
    All hospitals use the same survey questionnaire and standardized data collection procedures. The HCAHPS survey do not replace surveys that hospitals may do on their own.
     
  • The HCAHPS survey was developed by a partnership of public and private organizations.
    Development of the survey was funded by the Federal government, specifically the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
     
  • For more information.
    www.hcahpsonline.org

How is HCAHPS survey data collected?

  • HCAHPS survey data must be collected by organizations that are trained by the Federal government in HCAHPS survey data collection procedures.
     
  • Hospitals can choose to conduct the survey in one of four ways: by mail, by telephone, by mail and telephone, or by active interactive voice recognition (IVR). Regardless of how the survey is conducted, all patients answer the same questions.
     
  • Patients complete the HCAHPS survey after they leave the hospital.

 

Survey Questions

How often did nurses communicate well with patients?

During this hospital stay...

  • How often did nurses treat you with courtesy and respect? (Q1)
  • How often did nurses listen carefully to you? (Q2)
  • How often did nurses explain things in a way you could understand? (Q3)

How often did doctors communicate well with patients?

During this hospital stay...

  • How often did doctors treat you with courtesy and respect? (Q5)
  • How often did doctors listen carefully to you? (Q6)
  • How often did doctors explain things in a way you could understand? (Q7)

 How often did patients receive help quickly from hospital staff?

  • During this hospital stay, after you pressed the call button, how often did you get help as soon as you wanted it? (Q4)
  • How often did you get help in getting to the bathroom or in using a bedpan as soon as you wanted? (Q11)

How often was patients' pain well controlled?

During this hospital stay...

  • How often was your pain well controlled? (Q13)
  • How often did the hospital staff do everything they could to help you with your pain? (Q14)

How often did staff explain about medicines before giving them to patients?

Before giving you any new medicine...

  • How often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? (Q16)
  • How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand? (Q17)

 How often were patients' rooms and bathrooms kept clean?

During this hospital stay...

  • How often were your room and bathroom kept clean? (Q8)

How often was the area around patients' rooms quiet at night?

During this hospital stay...

  • How often was the area around your room quiet at night? (Q9)

Were patients given information about what to do during their recovery at home?

During this hospital stay...

  • Did hospital staff talk with you about whether you would have the help you needed when you left the hospital? (Q19)
  • Did you get information in writing about what symptoms or health problems to look out for after you left the hospital? (Q20)

How do patients rate the hospital?

  • 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? (Q21)

Would patients recommend the hospital to friends and family?

  • Would you recommend this hospital to your friends and family? (Q22)

 

Additional Links

The following resources provide more information related to the HCAHPS survey.

  • The Quality Assurance Guidelines, Version 3.0 gives details about the development and administration of the HCAHPS survey, and the procedures that must be followed when the data is collected and analyzed.
  • The HCAHPS survey website provides background information on the HCAHPS survey and detailed information about the survey instruments, data submission guidelines, data adjustments, and quality assurance procedures.
     

The following resources provide more information on health care report cards and transparency.
AboutHealthTransparency
http://www.consumerhealthratings.com/

 

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