Reinventing HCAHPS surveys to improve patient experience

The current crisis has forced healthcare organizations to adapt overnight to deliver patient-centric care. While telehealth or video conferencing solutions have replaced the conventional in-person appointments, healthcare providers need to keep their patients updated with medical advice that is easy-to-understand. 

The biggest challenge that most of the healthcare providers are facing is - How to successfully manage the patient experience in these uncertain times? How to effectively capture the patient feedback and drive improvement by acting upon it? Let’s take a look:


Why HCAHPS surveys matter?

Designed specifically to measure patient feedback, HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) surveys help to gain insights into the patient’s experience with the care they received at a hospital. Consisting of 32 questions, these HCAHPS surveys enable the Patient Experience Leaders (PELs) to effectively understand their patients' perspectives with robust and actionable feedback. Moreover, the HCAHPS survey results are publicly reported which empowers individuals to make informed decisions related to healthcare (like choosing a hospital for them).

Why do organizations need to go beyond HCAHPS?

While HCAHPS surveys have effortlessly captured patient experience since their inception, they have not kept pace with the technological developments that are important to most patients nowadays. With the shift in patients’ expectations, it’s time to revamp the HCAHPS surveys for improving the patient care experience. Here are some factors why HCAHPS surveys need to be overhauled:

Lack of digital modes

The absence of digital survey modes (like emails or mobile applications) in HCAHPS surveys acts as a hindrance in capturing patient experience. As these surveys are available in IVR, phone, and physical mail only, it becomes difficult to reach out to patients from minority populations. In fact, the lack of digital modes makes HCAHPS surveys incapable of capturing feedback from younger patients, mainly millennials. Leverage Voxco’s omnichannel survey solutions for transforming every touchpoint into positive patient experience.

Delay in feedback

After getting discharged from the hospital, an HCAHPS survey is shared with the patient in between 48 hours to 6 weeks and the submitted responses then take 9 to 21 months to reflect on the hospital's portal. Ideally, the survey should be shared with the patient at the time of discharge to gain real-time insights into the patient's experience. Also, the time lag between submission of the survey and public reporting needs to be reduced to make the data more relevant & useful.

Length & language of the survey

The response rate of HCAHPS surveys has fallen with time as most of the patients get frustrated with its length and the language of the questions asked. While the validity of a survey gets eroded with lower response rates, it's essential to keep the surveys short and engaging. The addition of supplemental questions by hospitals (for improving internal quality) might result in the falling response rates, investing in non-HCAHPS surveys could help to track additional patient metrics. Use Voxco's multilingual non-HCAHPS web surveys to tide over such limitations.

Changes in patient preferences & hospital models

The advancement of technology in healthcare has completely transformed patients’ choices and expectations. In today’s time, most of the patients prefer to switch hospitals due to poor digital communication with their health professionals.
As patients come across many health professionals during their period of hospitalization, it becomes confusing for them to understand who is a doctor, a physician, a nurse, or an assistant. This makes it difficult to capture patient experience accurately while making the HCAHPS scores less relevant. 

When it comes to improving patient care experience, HCAHPS surveys need to be re-evaluated and updated with time for staying relevant to both patients and hospitals. Need patient experience solutions that can help you with HCAHPS surveys & more? Click here to book a demo! 

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