What Is HCAHPS And Why Is It Essential For The Rural Hospital?

  • Physician Websites
  • April 27, 2021

Read Time: 8 minutes Government reimbursements and hospital reputations are dependent on HCAHPS surveys. Hospitals must take steps to guarantee positive results.

Small Hospitals Depend On HCAHPS Scores

The HCAHPS, or Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, survey is a standardized assessment of patients’ perspectives on hospital care. The goal of the evaluation is to produce data on patients’ experiences of care in an objective way. This survey is critical to a small hospital because the results are publicly reported, and hospital reimbursements are allocated based on scores.

What Is HCAHPS And Why Is It Essential For The Small Hospital

What does the survey ask?

The HCAHPS survey has 29 questions to ask patients about the experience while staying at a hospital. The results of these questions are publicly reported 4 times a year. These questions are divided into the topics of:

  • Nurse communication
  • Doctor communication
  • Responsiveness of hospital staff
  • Communication about medicines
  • Discharge information
  • Care transition
  • Cleanliness of the hospital
  • The quietness of the hospital
  • Hospital rating
  • Willingness to recommend the hospital

Which patients answer the survey?

The survey is administered at random to adult patients with various medical conditions. Patients are treated in short-term, acute care, non-specialty hospitals, and government hospitals. Patients receive the survey after being discharged from the hospital. Over 4,000 hospitals participate.

Reputation is at stake

Since HCAHPS survey results are distributed publicly on the internet, results have a direct effect on the reputation of a small hospital. A good HCAHPS score is critical to a positive public perception of a small hospital because a poor reputation may dissuade future patients from choosing that hospital.

Effects on the bottom line

Results of the HCAHPS survey affect reimbursements to small hospitals from the government. Poor-performing hospitals will see a decline in government payments. So, an excellent survey performance keeps a small hospital financially secure.

The real cost of patient satisfaction

Small hospital budgets depend on the reimbursements from HCAHPS. Patient perception of care is a key performance indicator on the survey to determine payments to hospitals. Satisfied patients will leave positive reviews. Hospitals must focus on creating a positive patient experience.

How do small hospitals participate in reporting and review?

Small hospitals can participate in the HCAHPS data collection and reporting system by meeting program requirements. All hospitals must send in a participation form to the official team. Once reviewed, a hospital is permitted to participate and start studying results from the anonymous survey.

How can small hospitals increase their scores?

Hospitals of all sizes want excellent HCAHPS scores. There are a few things small hospitals can do to increase ratings and provide a positive patient experience. These include consistent and clear communication with patients, collecting and responding to data on patient experiences, and providing transparency to patients about home care after discharge. Get started with implement HCAHPS surveys today.

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