The HCAHPS Survey

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The HCAHPS Survey; Not the Best Way to Measure Quality Care
Jennifer Rodriguez
Keiser University

The HCAHPS Survey;
Not the Best Way to Measure Quality Care
The HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) Survey, also known as the CAHPS® Hospital Survey or Hospital CAHPS®, is a standardized survey and data that has been implemented since 2006 to measure patients view of their hospital care during their recent hospital stay.
There are three goals of the HCAHPS Survey. First, the survey gets comparable data on patients' view of their care that allows for objective and meaningful comparisons to other hospitals on issues that are important to patients, including how well healthcare providers
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Also, by reporting the results publicly it provides the hospitals incentive for hospitals to improve care to their patients. It also gives the hospital transparency by allowing the public to see the results of the surveys.
I have mixed feelings about the survey. I understand quality care is hard to measure accurately. Usually people will fill out surveys when they had a bad experience, so I do not think it would reflect the full truth of the quality of patient care. Also, there are questions that are beyond the staff’s control, like how quiet the area was at night. If patients are loud and uncontrollable, or watching TV in a shared room, it would be an unfair assessment to judge the patient’s hospital stay based on uncontrollable situations. Furthermore, by
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In article “Patient Satisfaction Surveys Not Accurate Measure of Hospitalists’ Performance,” the author makes the point that the survey generally rates its care by all doctors, so if they have a bad experience by one doctor, the patient taking the survey will state that all their care by the doctor was unfavorable, even though they may have received great care by other doctors. It is an unfair assessment of their care by the doctors, which holds true for the nurse’s part of the survey as well. Also, the surveys do not come out in a timely manner. In the same article the author states, “If a hospitalist receives a low score on the “Doctor Communication” domain, the scores are likely to be three to nine months old. How can we legitimately assign (and then modify) behaviors based on those scores?” (Winthrop Whitcomb, MD, MHM,
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