What are HCAHPS Scores?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Scores

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a patient satisfaction survey that was developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in collaboration with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) beginning in 2002.

The HCAHPS survey was designed to help government agencies begin to collect and aggregate data on patient’s perspectives of care at the various healthcare facilities in the United States. HCAHPS scores are used to enable objective comparisons of hospitals across a variety of metrics, inform healthcare consumers about the relative standard of care at each facility and create incentives for hospitals and healthcare organizations to compete on patient engagement and satisfaction.

The HCAHPS survey consists of 27 questions that address six composite topics, two individual items, and two global items:

Composite Topics

Individual Items

  • Cleanliness of Hospital Environment
  • Quietness of Hospital Environment

Global Items

  • Overall Rating of Hospital
  • Willingness to Recommend Hospital

Hospitals are not expected to administer the HCAHPS survey to each and every single patient that they discharge. Rather, participating hospitals are expected to obtain at least 300 HCAHPS surveys over a 12-month reporting period by drawing a random sample of eligible patients who meet the following criteria:

  • 18 years of age or older when admitted to the hospital
  • At least one overnight stay in inpatient care at the facility
  • Non-psychiatric diagnosis at discharge
  • Alive at the time of discharge

What are HCAHPS Scores Used For?

Hospitals collect HCAHPS by randomly sampling discharged patients who qualify for the survey. The collected data is submitted to the HCAHPS data warehouse where it is cleaned and analyzed by officials at the United States CMS and publicly reported to consumers on the Hospital Compare website.

On the Hospital Compare website, a web-based application allows users to compare up to three hospitals at a time across several performance categories that are informed by HCAHPS scores. After choosing several hospitals to compare, the user can click on a tab with the name “Survey of patient’s experiences” to see how patients rated their experiences at each facility.

For each hospital, users can see the proportion of patients who:

  • Reported that their nurses “Always” communicated well
  • Reported that their doctors “Always” communicated well
  • Reported that they “Always” received help as soon as they wanted
  • Reported that staff “Always” explained about medicines before giving it to them
  • Reported that their room and bathroom were “Always” clean
  • Reported that their room was “Always” quiet at night
  • Reported that “YES”, they were given information about what to do during their recovery at home
  • “Strongly Agree” they understood their care when they left the hospital
  • Gave their hospital a rating of 9 or 10 on a scale from 0 to 10 for overall performance
  • Reported that “YES”, they would definitely recommend the hospital

How You Can Improve HCAHPS Scores

The HCAHPS survey encourages hospitals to emphasize patient experience and patient engagement as critical aspects of healthcare delivery. To that end, healthcare providers can improve HCAHPS scores by communicating frequently and clearly with patients, maintaining a positive healthcare environment that promotes wellness and recovery and demonstrating exceptional service and commitment to patient well-being.

Communication and direct engagement with patients are the most important factors influencing HCAHPS scores, as five of the reported metrics are directly linked to communication. Hospitals should ensure that nurses and doctors communicate frequently and effectively with patients, provide them with adequate information about medications, give detailed home recovery instructions, and verify that patients understand their care before discharging them.

Clinical Communication with TigerConnect

TigerConnect offers a robust clinical communication platform that facilitates patient engagement by streamlining communications between patients and their care-givers through a messaging application that promotes information sharing, collaborative patient management, and increased patient engagement.

With TigerConnect, hospitals and healthcare facilities can engage patients and improve their HCAHPS scores, demonstrating their commitment to patient satisfaction.

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About TigerConnect

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