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Why Physicians Are Starting To Require HCAHPS Scores And What This Means For You

In the healthcare industry, patient satisfaction plays a big role in overall success, retention and expansion. The HCAHPS survey, short for Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, is a patient survey developed by the U.S. government's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and is used to help determine how satisfied patients are with their healthcare providers.

Even as the healthcare system undergoes huge changes, the relationship between patients and their care providers has a significant impact on how patients choose their providers along with other important health-related decisions. Increasing numbers of physicians and providers are now soliciting HCAHPS survey participation by patients, which can have big implications for a practice. With that in mind, here are some basics you need to know about the HCAHPS survey along with ideas for how to improve HCAHPS scores at your practice.

1. Why Are Providers Using CAHPS Scores?

Patient experience surveys allow doctors and other healthcare professionals to get a clearer view of their individual practice's success. The HCAHPS score helps physicians obtain a better overview of how happy their patients are with the services they receive. These scores allow clinics, doctor's offices and even dental practices to identify areas that may offer room for improvement. These improvements can result in more positive patient-doctor relations and higher patient retention rates, and can improve a care provider's reputation within the community. The survey allows physicians to determine how to make their environment more comfortable for patients as well as how to offer improved safety and give a better overall quality of care. The information obtained from HCAHPS surveys is then entered into a nationwide database.

2. What Kinds Of Questions Are Patients Asked?

The HCAHPS survey asks patients a variety of questions pertaining to the following:

  • Which aspects of their healthcare they feel are the most important.
  • How satisfied they are with their current level of care, and how happy they are with the actual services they receive.
  • Whether patients feel they are listened to by staff, and if they are treated with courtesy and respect.
  • Overall satisfaction or dissatisfaction with wait times in terms of scheduling appointments and when they visit their doctor or dentist.
  • If the patient feels that the facility was clean, comfortable and safe.
  • It's important to note that these are just a few examples of topics that patients may be asked about. Each CAHPS survey is different and applies to a wide variety of healthcare sectors including outpatient care, hospice and even dental care. As a result, each survey will include questions specific to the type of care the patient receives.

3. What Do HCAHPS Scores Mean For You?

If you work in the healthcare sector, your CAHPS score can impact a variety of things including reimbursements from programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Higher scores often translate into bigger private reimbursements as well, and they can also improve your facility's overall reputation since the scores are released to the public. Here are a few simple tips for how to improve CAHPS scores at your facility:

  • Make sure your site is clean, welcoming and accommodating.
  • Staff should be friendly and respectful to visitors and patients at all times.
  • Keep wait times to a minimum.
  • Actively solicit feedback from patients, and be prepared to offer genuine solutions.
  • Be empathetic and take the time to truly listen to patients in order to provide the most effective healthcare treatments.

When it comes to receiving high CAHPS scores, there's no magic answer for all facilities, but starting with a clean and safe environment is a great first step. Browse our blog for more tips on keeping your facility clean, and don't hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about how ServiceMaster Clean can provide you with expert healthcare facility cleaning services that put a focus on patient safety and satisfaction while meeting your practice's individual needs.

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