What Registered Nurses Need to Know About HCAHPS
The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (best known as H-CAPS)
Called "H-CAPS" for short, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems(HCAHPS) is a very important tool because it measures patient perceptions of their hospital experiences. While healthcare employers have been conducting surveys like this internally for years, the HCAHPS is the first survey of its kind to offer public results; staying abreast of its changes is vital to placement of quality healthcare staff and keeps terminations at a minimum. Really, this 32-item survey is a primary concern to every healthcare professional because it can affect their employer’s ability to collect reimbursements.
A good place to start in educating oneself about the HCAHPS is understanding the 3 major goals that shape it:
- Making objective comparisons to other hospitals
- Creating new incentives for hospitals to improve quality of care
- Promoting accountability and transparency that prove if the hospital is “living up” to the public investment
One of the more notable aspects to the survey is that “how often” is used to describe critical aspects of patients’ hospital experiences rather than whether or not they were satisfied. The sampling of respondents is composed of patient discharges between 48-hours and 6 weeks ago; the patients can come from any hospital unit, from medical surgical to maternity.
These are areas covered by HCAHPS that registered nurses working in America’s best hospitals will recognize as categorical strengths:
- Communication with doctors and fellow nurses
- Responsiveness of hospital staff to patients’ needs
- Pain management
- Communication about medicines
- Discharge information
- Cleanliness of the hospital environment
- Quietness of the hospital environment, and transition of care
- Positive overall rating and recommendation of hospital (by the patient) to family and friends
American Traveler Staffing Professionals Value, Emphasize and Maintain Excellent "Quality of Care"
Your healthcare employer places an extraordinary amount of value and emphasis on customer service and service recovery; when nursing staff is part of this “big picture” and excels in patient satisfaction it comes across in HCAHP results, an increasingly valuable tool that fewer hospitals are opting out of. For healthcare staffing agencies, the HCAHPS is significant because of mounting pressure to choose staff with customer service and communication skills that match their clinical expertise—a challenge that experienced and consistently Joint Commission Certified healthcare staffing agencies continue to meet.
By screening and educating our nursing staff prior to placing them, American Traveler Staffing Professionals are building healthcare teams that are prepared to deliver the highest quality in patient care; our R.N.s have a proven understanding of effective medications, discharge planning, pain management and so much more. American Traveler is proud to work with a high caliber of nurses who are instrumental in distinguishing their healthcare employers as top performers on the HCAHPS.
Footnote: For a summary to see if your hospital measures up, nurses can refer to Hospital Compare website: www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare. For more information on this topic, they may also refer to theHospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems