What Are HCAHPS Scores, and Why Are They Important?

December 19, 2022
What Are HCAHPS Scores, and Why Are They Important?

If you’re a healthcare provider, you’ve probably heard of HCAHPS scores. But what do they entail? Why are they important? HCAHPS (the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey) is a tool that measures patient satisfaction. It’s used to assess the level and quality of care patients receive in hospitals across the country. Developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS), it’s designed to give hospitals and other healthcare organizations insights into how well they serve their patients.

HCAHPS scores are based on patient experience surveys that ask questions about the patient’s quality of care. The survey covers various topics, including communication with doctors and nurses, pain management, cleanliness of the hospital environment, and overall satisfaction. The survey is administered within two days of discharge, and results are used to compare hospitals on a national level.

Read more: 4 Strategies for Improving HCAHPS Scores.

We will explain why HCAHPS scores are important and how hospitals can use this information to improve patient care.

What Are HCAHPS Scores?

HCAHPS survey consists of 27 questions that measure different aspects of patient care, including communication with doctors and nurses, cleanliness of the hospital environment, medication management, transitions from hospital to home care, and discharge instructions. The survey is administered at various points throughout a patient’s stay in a hospital or medical facility so that healthcare providers can better understand and improve their patient experience.

These questions are categorized into:

a) Communication with physicians

b) Communication with nurses

c) Responsiveness of hospital staff

d) Pain management

e) Communication about medications

f) Discharge information

g) Overall rating of the hospital care.

The survey asks respondents for some demographic information. These include gender, race/ethnicity, insurance status, age, and education level.

Why Are HCAHPS Scores Important?

HCAHPS scores provide an essential measure of patient satisfaction and inform many decisions related to the quality of care provided by healthcare organizations. Here are the benefits  of collecting HCAHPS scores:

1. Improved Quality of Care:

Healthcare providers use the data collected from the survey to identify areas where they need to improve their care and services. The information can provide insight into how patients feel about the quality of care they receive, thus allowing healthcare organizations to make changes that will increase patient satisfaction.

2. Better Patient Engagement:

HCAHPS surveys allow healthcare providers to receive feedback from their patients, which allows them to engage with their patients and build trust.

3. Increased Revenue:

High HCAHPS scores result in higher reimbursement rates from government payers such as Medicare and Medicaid and private payers. This can result in increased revenue for healthcare organizations.

4. Increased Transparency: HCAHPS scores provide a more transparent view of the quality of care offered by a healthcare organization. The survey results are available to the public, so patients can make better-informed decisions about which provider they want to use. For example, value-based oncology care includes factors such as cost and quality, with HCAHPS scores providing valuable information on the latter.

Healthcare patient engagement is a critical factor in the vital success of healthcare organizations. HCAHPS scores are one of many ways hospitals measure patient satisfaction, giving them insight into how well they meet patients’ needs. Contact Guideway for the best patient engagement solutions and tools.