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Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS)

What is HCAHPS?

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a national, standardized, and publicly reported survey regarding the patient perspective on hospital care. It may also be referred to as the CAHPS Hospital Survey.

The HCAHPS survey consists of 29 questions that are asked to discharged patients about their recent hospital experience. These questions are centered around critical areas of a patient’s hospital stay, such as:

  • hospital staff responsiveness
  • communication with doctors and nurses
  • communication about medicines
  • cleanliness and overall hospital environment
  • discharge information
  • would they recommend this hospital
  • overall rating

Why is HCAHPS important to healthcare?

HCAHPS has three goals:

  1. Produce data regarding the patient perspective of care to allow for meaningful and objective comparisons between hospitals on topics that affect consumers.
  2. Report the survey results publicly to encourage hospitals to improve the quality of care.
  3. Increase transparency of hospital care quality through public survey results, which also increases hospital accountability.

With these goals in mind, the HCAHPS survey holds hospitals accountable for their care and encourages them to improve upon factors that increase patient satisfaction with their hospital stay.

HCAHPS is also important as it was the first survey conducted for national use, whereas, before HCAHPS, hospitals might have conducted surveys for internal use only. With HCAHPS, there can be valid comparisons across local, regional, and national hospitals since they all partake in the same survey.