Patient satisfaction survey data collection and analysis for Hospitals

Hospitals CAHPS FAQ:

  • Other questions? Our marketing research experts will be happy to answer them. Call us at 888.420.8884 or fill out our contact form and we will contact you.


What is HCAHPS?

HCAHPS is a standardized survey of the experiences of adult inpatients with hospital care and services. Hospitals across the country are using this survey and reporting data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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How is the HCAHPS survey constructed and conducted: instrument and method?

Structure of HCAHPS survey:

  • 27 questions total including perspectives on seven key topics
    • communication with doctors
    • communication with nurses
    • responsiveness of hospital staff
    • cleanliness and quietness of hospital environment
    • pain management
    • communication about medicines
    • discharge information
  • four approved modes of administration
    • Mail Only - Recomended by Alexandria
    • Telephone Only
    • Mixed (mail followed by telephone)
    • Active Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

"[In the second quarter for 2008], 72.6% of the publicly reported hospitals employed the mail mode, 26.6% used the telephone mode, and 0.7% used mixed or IVR modes. In addition, 97.5% of hospitals used a survey vendor (including multi-site hospitals), while 2.5% self-administered the HCAHPS survey."

Source: (HCAHPS Executive Insight, September 2009. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Baltimore, MD. November, 25, 2009.

We recommend and provide the "Mail Only" mode of the HCAHPS survey, because it:

  1. offers convenience for the patients to respond;
  2. provides patients with time to think about how to respond;
  3. is less intimidating and more anonymous and we believe it gives unbiased data.

Recommendation: Although CAHPS permits additional questions to be added to the HCAHPS survey our suggestion is to keep these to a minimum or add no additional questions mainly because a longer survey tends to have an adverse affect on the response rate.

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What are the features of the HCAHPS survey?

  • produces comparable data on the patient's perspective on care
  • enables objective and meaningful comparisons between hospitals
  • leads to public reporting of the survey results
  • provides incentives for hospitals to improve their quality of care
  • enhances public accountability in health care by increasing the transparency of the quality of hospital care
  • is a credible, useful, and practical survey

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Where do the of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services publicly report the benchmarking on HCAHPS survey results?

Hospital-level results are publicly reported on the Hospital Compare Web site, which is also available through a link at the Medicare website. Benchmarking Data Available is a report that provides summary level survey results for hospitals that have fielded the survey and submitted their data to the CAHPS Database for this analysis. This report aggregates the results for hospitals by selected characteristics (e.g., bed size, region, teaching status).

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What are the the consequences for our Hospital if we do not participate in the HCAHPS survey initiative?

IPPS hospitals participating in the Reporting Hospital Quality Data Annual Payment Update program (RHQDAPU) that fail to report the required quality measures (which include the HCAHPS patient perspective survey) could, for FY 2008, receive an APU that is reduced by 2.0 percentage points. Non-IPPS hospitals can voluntarily participate in HCAHPS. To view the display copy of the Acute Inpatient PPS final rule (CMS-1533-FC) for FY 2008, go to the CMS website.

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What should our hospital concider about HCAHPS surveys?

Would you like professionals to perform your HCAHPS Survey Data Collection and Analysis?

Alexandria Marketing Research Group provides a link between proven theory and practical application of strategic, tactical, and operational research tools.

  • Are you receiving prompt quarterly and annual reports about your service quality?
  • Have your HCAHPS reports been helping you improve your quality?
  • Are the reports interactive and do they allow you to use them effectively during management presentations and discussions?
  • Have you achieved high enough response rate? In order to report your findings and improvement to the community, you need to receive at least 100 responses per year.
  • Do you have a vendor partner that helps you succeed?

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What are the benefits of using Alexandria Marketing Research Group to administer HCAHPS surveys?

Our valuable information analysis and methods allow you to:

  • Manage your business more effectively, improve your service quality and operations, attain competitive advantage, and be a winner;
  • Better understand and communicate with your employees, your patients, and your market;
  • Receive valuable and presentable information analysis in frequent interactive analytical reports in PowerPoint presentations;
  • Have your information presentable and easy to use at meetings, presentations, and discussions;
  • Achieve between 25% and 40% response rate to be able to report your services’ quality levels to the community;
  • Save time and resources from reducing the internal departments’ workload on data processing;
  • Receive competitive quality service with our competitive price, security, and long term commitment;
  • Improve your organization: achieve and hold high quality standards.

Let us help you improve your service and operations quality through H-CAHPS survey data collection and analysis. For more information about Alexandria or to receive a quote contact us. We will come to your door when you need us for a presentation or a consultation.

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Further Resources!

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Sourses: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. June16, 2008. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Baltimore, MD. June16, 2008.

Alexandria Marketing Research Group, Inc. 212 1/2 W. 5th St., Joplin, MO 64801, Phone: 888.420.8884