Five major hospital associations July 25 released Modernizing the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey: Recommendations from Patient Experience Leaders, a paper that explores how to update patient experience surveying to best improve patient care. Researchers found that response rates to the HCAHPS survey are falling after ten years in the field, among other key findings, and made recommendations on improvements.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) publicly reports hospital performance based on HCAHPS on its Hospital Compare website and translates performance to measure scoring under the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program and in its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings.
The report identified five key findings including: HCAHPS survey response rates are falling; survey respondents agreed that the survey needs updating; survey topics are important but incomplete; research is needed on additional factors that influence patient experience; and health literacy levels of the survey need to be re-evaluated.
In response to these findings, the report identifies five top recommendations for redesigning or re-evaluating the survey including: add a digital mode of delivery to existing modalities (mail and telephone); shorten the survey; revise the survey to reflect the shift to value-based care, changes in health care delivery, improvements in technology, and evolving patient priorities; reframe the care transitions and discharge planning sections of the HCAHPS survey; and periodically re-evaluate the HCAHPS survey.
The paper was co-authored by the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH), American Hospital Association (AHA), America's Essential Hospitals, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA).