Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and System (HCAHPS) Survey

In my organization, we are using HCAHPS survey for patient satisfactions with the organization. We have been using the survey since 2014 in my organization, and we were able to meet the international benchmark in the most of the survey required indicators as per Magnet standards. However we are still facing difficulties in improving the “patient education upon discharge” indicator, despite the several efforts from Nursing Affairs, Patient Services and Case Management. Currently, we initiated another collaborative project that involves medical team as stakeholder, although the result are not good as expected from the team .

I’m interested to know if anyone has achieved a success in the HCAHPS survey in the discharge education indicator to share the experience?


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Participant comments on Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and System (HCAHPS) Survey

  1. Like many organizations, we as well continue to struggle with achieving certain required standards with HCAHPS. In our case, our low number of responses continues to be a problem. Especially when many of the patients who have had a positive experience have no desire to fill out a survey, weeks to months later. While at the same time patients that had a negative aspect of their care are ready to point out that areas they were displeased with or felt were inadequate.

    One way we are evaluating improving this is looking at digital platforms that will send the survey as a text message or email within hours of leaving the hospital or clinic in hopes of generating increased responses while the visit is still fresh on the individuals mind. A tool like this may help with improving your responses to discharge education. Particularly, when coupled with your already instituted programs that are likely incorporating the term “discharge education” as trigger phrases that they received minutes to hours before. In turn making them more likely to remember that there was a large focus on this at their time of discharge.

  2. We do very well on our HCAHPS surveys. We have a number of things we do to improve this number.
    1. we contracted with a survey company to give us more feedback and more data to work with so we could track the change in scores better.
    2. we start the patient education process preoperatively for elective surgeries, and immediately after surgery or admission for others.
    3. We rewrote all of our discharge information to simplify it. Much was incomprehensible to the average patient before we started. The average reading level in the US is 5th grade!
    4. We make sure that everyone is telling the patient the same information – if the physician says one thing, the nurse something else and the pharmacist something else, it confuses the patient.
    5. We have nurses and pharmacists call the patient, 24-72 hours after discharge to ask if they have any other questions.
    6. We have preprinted cards with all of the common medications that we prescribe to patients with the reason for the medication and common side effects clearly stated.
    7. We use videos in the patient’s rooms to go over additional teaching. This makes sure the teaching is consistent.
    8. Prime the patient to answer the survey questions – make sure that someone asks them before they leave “Have we provided you with all of the discharge education that you think you will need?”
    9. We invite former patients back for meetings and focus groups to ask them what we could have done better.

  3. We too have great success with the HCAHPS survey, and part of that may be related to having oncology patients. The biggest success I think we had was simply educating the nurses. Every nurse had to review the survey to understand what they were being measured for, and improvement was undertaken based on their ideas. They were scripted in the way they undertook certain tasks with the patient. We had several HCAHPS measures as a part of our pay for performance metrics with our payors. We also conduct discharge phone calls within 24 hours to ensure the patient is comfortable transitioning to home.

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