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All you need to know about HCAHPS

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Market research 04 12
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Patient feedback is essential for any healthcare facility to improve their bottom line as well as improve healthcare in a community. HCAHPS surveys (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) can gather feedback which helps you understand your patients better. 

Healthcare organizations’ need to monitor their reputation closely. When looking for a new provider, 60% of patients consider having a positive online reputation to be a major factor in their final decision.

01

What is HCAHPS?

It is a national mandated survey for the healthcare sector in the USA. It has several questions that help healthcare organizations understand their patients’ perception about their experience: their Patient Experience, if you will. 

HCAHPS surveys cover a wide range of scenarios and factors which help healthcare organizations understand where their services may be lacking and are in need of urgent improvement, or risk losing customers to their competition. 

The importance of HCAHPS

HCAHPS surveys are an integral aspect in improving a healthcare organizations’ online reputation. Consumers today have a wide range of healthcare facilities to choose from, and are unlikely to give companies with poor or middling scores a second glance. 

However, one needs to acknowledge the fact that Patient Experience has largely been an afterthought for healthcare organizations and the results speak for themselves. 81% of consumers are not satisfied with their experience at a healthcare facility. 

HCAHPS scores have a direct impact on healthcare organizations which use inpatient prospective payment systems. Scores are factored into an organizations; value-based purchasing scheme, which incentivizes facilities based on the quality of care they provide patients who have medicare. 

See what question types are possible with a sample survey!

02

How is HCAHPS data reported?

HCAHPS survey data is reported every quarter on a government portal (Hospital Compare), with data from the oldest quarter being eliminated as newer results are uploaded. For a healthcare organization to have their results publicly displayed, they need to report at least 25 surveys completed over 4 quarters. 

The portal also displays star ratings for selected measures as well as other valuable information about the facility. This can include

  • Speed and efficiency with which staff treat patients with specific medical issues
  • Price of certain operations as compared to the national average
  • Readmission schedules
  • Medicare payment claims
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03

What are the questions asked in an HCAHPS survey?

Questions in an HCAHPS survey are divided into multiple segments, to be able to get a segmented picture into the healthcare services provided to a patient.

About care received from Nurses

During your hospital stay, how often did nurses treat you with courtesy and respect?

  • Never 
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

During this hospital stay, how often did nurses listen carefully to you?

  • Never 
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

During this hospital stay, how often did nurses explain things in a way you could understand?

  • Never 
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

During this hospital stay, after you pressed the call button, how often did you get help as soon as you wanted it?

  • Never 
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always
  • I never pressed the call button

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About care received from Doctors

During this hospital stay, how often did doctors treat you with courtesy and respect?

  • Never 
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

 

During this hospital stay, how often did doctors listen carefully to you?

  • Never 
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

 

During this hospital stay, how often did doctors explain things in a way you could understand?

  • Never 
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

The Hospital Environment

During this hospital stay, how often were your room and bathroom kept clean?

  • Never 
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

 

During this hospital stay, how often was the area around your room quiet at night?

  • Never 
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

Your Experiences in This Hospital

During this hospital stay, did you need help from nurses or other hospital staff in getting to the bathroom or in using a bedpan?

  • Yes
  • No 

 

How often did you get help in getting to the bathroom or in using a bedpan as soon as you wanted?

  • Never 
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

 

During this hospital stay, did you have any pain?

  • Yes
  • No 
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During this hospital stay, how often did hospital staff talk with you about how much pain you had?

  • Never
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

During this hospital stay, how often did the hospital staff talk with you about how treat to your pain?

  • Never
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before?

  • Yes
  • No 

Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for?

  • Never
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?

  • Never
  • Sometimes
  • Usually
  • Always

When You Left the Hospital

After you left the hospital, did you go directly to your own home, to someone else’s home, or to another health facility?

During this hospital stay, did doctors, nurses or other hospital staff talk with you about whether you would have the help you needed when you left the hospital?

During this hospital stay, did you get information in writing about what symptoms or health problems to look out for after you left the hospital?

Overall Rating of the Hospital

Using any number from 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst hospital possible and 10 is the best hospital possible, what number would you use to rate this hospital during your stay?

  • 0 (worst hospital possible)
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10 (best hospital possible)

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Would you recommend this hospital to your friends and family?

  • Definitely no
  • Probably no
  • Probably yes
  • Definitely yes

Understand your care after leaving the hospital

During this hospital stay, staff took my preferences and those of my family or caregiver into account in deciding what my health care needs would be when I left

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree

When I left the hospital, I had a good understanding of the things I was responsible for in managing my health.

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree

When I left the hospital, I clearly understood the purpose for taking each of my medications.

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree
  • I was not given any medication when I left the hospital

About You

During this hospital stay, were you admitted to this hospital through the Emergency Room?

  • Yes
  • No

In general, how would you rate your overall health?

  • Excellent
  • Very good
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor

What is the highest grade or level of school that you have completed?

  • 8th grade or less 
  • Some high school, but did not graduate
  • High school graduate or GED
  • Some college or 2-year degree
  • 4-year college graduate
  • More than 4-year college degree

Are you of Spanish, Hispanic or Latino origin or descent?

  • No, not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino
  • Yes, Puerto Rican
  • Yes, Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano
  • Yes, Cuban
  • Yes, other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino

What is your race? Please choose one or more.

  • White
  • Black or African American
  • Asian
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • American Indian or Alaska Native

What language do you mainly speak at home?

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Vietnamese
  • Portuguese
  • Some other language (please print):

04

Distributing HCAHPS surveys

There are 4 ways for healthcare organizations to distribute an HCAHPS survey

  • Call patients by phone 
  • Mail them a physical copy
  • Mail them a survey and make a follow-up phone call.
  • IVR

It may take multiple attempts to get your patients to take these surveys, and may require dedicated staff for this purpose. Healthcare businesses can send out the survey anytime within 48 hours to 6 weeks after their patient has been discharged.

05

How to improve your HCAHPS performance

We’ve established that performing well on HCAHPS surveys is a need for any healthcare provider, but how does one go about doing it?

Improve Patient Experience

While HCAHPS surveys manage to capture a lot of essential information about your patients’ visit at your facility, they don’t give you a holistic picture about your patient experience. If you want to ensure good performance in hcahps surveys, you will need to ensure that your PX efforts are up to the mark throughout the year. 

This can be achieved by augmenting HCAHPS with other surveys at key touch points along your patient journey such as:

  • Billing experience
  • Telemedicine portal ease and functionality
  • Interactions with customer support
  • Website experience

Creating an environment which is hassle-free will keep your patients with your brand, thus improving your bottom line.

Improve Patient Engagement

Healthy patients are happy patients. Healthcare providers should not look at a patients’ visit as a simple transactional affair. By investing in your patients health you ensure that yours is the first business they think of when it comes to any medical requirements. 

Effective communication must be established with your patients across their preferred channel. Make their medical records easily accessible to them, and work towards improving the overall health of your community. This form of engagement can turn customers into brand loyalists for your organization. 

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Great Research
Fast Insights
Best-in-class ROI

Voxco’s platform helps you gather omnichannel feedback, measure sentiment, uncover insights and act on them.

Join 500 + global clients across 40+ countries