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Research, Tools

CAHPS Surveys for Healthcare Experts

It’s always a good idea for healthcare experts to get external and internal feedback to improve the patient experience and gauge the satisfaction and needs of their staff.

Of course, right now we are battling the coronavirus (COVID-19), and hospitals and other healthcare facilities are on the frontlines. While it may not seem like an ideal time to be conducting healthcare surveys, they can be easily created and distributed. These surveys may provide healthcare experts with valuable information that can lead to improvements for patients and staff during and after these unusual times.

How Healthcare Experts Can Gain Patient Feedback

The most common way for healthcare experts to gain patient feedback is through Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) surveys. So, what is CAHPS? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), began the CAHPS program in 1995 with the goal of advancing the medical community’s scientific understanding of patient experience with healthcare.

According to the AHRQ, the patient experience “encompasses the range of interactions that patients have with the healthcare system, including their care from health plans, and from doctors, nurses, and staff in hospitals, physician practices, and other healthcare facilities.”

There are many users of CAHPS surveys, including healthcare professionals, public and private purchasers of healthcare, healthcare accreditation organizations, health plans, and regional improvement collaboratives. These individuals and organizations use the results of CAHPS surveys to evaluate and compare healthcare providers and to improve the patient experience through the services they provide.

Five metrics that are important to any patient satisfaction survey are as follows:

  1. Transparency and communication between care provider and patient
  2. Quality of medical care
  3. Interpersonal skills displayed by medical professionals
  4. Access to doctors and other medical professionals
  5. Financial aspects of care

How Healthcare Experts Can Gain Staff Feedback

Gaining feedback from staff, including surgeons, physicians, nurses, technicians, and others, is just as important as surveying patients because they are on the frontlines every day. While external survey-takers may have little luck getting the attention of these medical professionals due to their demanding work schedules, if the survey is coming to them internally they’re much more likely to give it their time—especially with the understanding that the results may ultimately benefit them and address their needs. 

Leading healthcare facilities will regularly survey staff to ensure employees are engaged, motivated, well-trained, and have the resources they need to perform the duties of their job. The surveys can also turn up shortcomings that can be addressed to better meet the needs of their staff, reduce healthcare worker burnout and attrition rates, and ultimately improve the health outcomes and healthcare experience for patients. 

With COVID-19 continuing to burden healthcare workers, you may want to consider surveying them to determine how well your facility is meeting their needs. Of course, be prepared for news and medical information you may not want to hear; for example, a recent NBC News survey among healthcare workers regarding the coronavirus revealed that many feel the supplies and equipment they need to do their jobs are in short supply. 

You may want to check out SurveyLegend’s Employee Engagement Survey and then determine how you could customize in order to ask your staff the critical questions you need answers to. 

CAHPS Survey Templates and CAHPS Survey Questions

SurveyLegend has three CAHPS surveys already developed and available for your use. You can view the CAHPS survey templates and all the CAHPS questions here:

CAHPS Visit Survey | CAHPS 12-Month Adult Survey | CAHPS Health Plan Survey

Conclusion

First and foremost, we’d like to thank everyone in the healthcare industry who is working tirelessly to keep our citizens healthy and safe. We hope that our surveys allow you to gain valuable insight into the needs of patients and staff in order to make changes that will improve satisfaction levels across the board. If you have any questions about what we can do for you, contact us or stat surveying by signing up for free now.

How has COVID impacted work at your healthcare facility? Please share your stories with us in the comments—and thank you again for all that you do to keep us healthy and safe!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is CAHPS?

CAHPS stands for Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. It’s a program that works to advance the medical community’s scientific understanding of patients’ experience with healthcare.

What are CAHPS surveys used for?

CAHPS surveys aim to evaluate and compare healthcare providers and to improve the patient experience through the services they provide.

Who uses CAHPS surveys?

CAHPS surveys are used by healthcare professionals, public and private purchasers of healthcare, healthcare accreditation organizations, health plans, and regional improvement collaboratives.

What should a patient satisfaction survey measure?

Patient surveys should measure communication and transparency of provider, quality of medical care, interpersonal skills of medical staff, accessibility of care, and financial aspects of care.

About the Author

Jasko Mahmutovic

Born entrepreneur, passionate leader, motivator, great love for UI & UX design, strong believer in "less is more”. Big advocate of bootstrapping. BS in Logistics Service Management. I don't create company environments, I create family and team environments.

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