HCAHPS (pronounced H-Caps) is an acronym for Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. Most, but not all, hospitals participate. Memorial Hospital's results were first made public in March 2008 on www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov. HCAHPS surveys were intended to complement, not replace, other surveying methods that hospitals currently use to support improvements in internal customer service and quality.
When I came to Memorial in 2004, our board, team members, and medical staff members all took great pride in the outstanding customer service that they provided. I asked a simple question... "How do you know we provide great customer service?" Their answer was that we conducted patient satisfaction surveys, and that we scored very well. Digging a little deeper, I learned that we used our own customer satisfaction forms (created internally), and had no ability to compare our scores to those of other hospitals. If 90% of our patients said they would recommend us to others, was that a good score? It might seem so until you learn that a score of 94% only puts you at the median nationally. Suddenly, 90% didn't look so good anymore. For that reason, we hired a Director of Customer Service, and started to use Press Ganey, which is the market leader in hospital patient satisfaction measurement. Now we can compare our results, on an apples-to apples basis, to thousands of other hospitals across the country.
Back to HCAHPS…their survey consists of 27 questions. Each of those 27 questions focuses on some variation of the following:
- Communication with nurses
- Communication with doctors
- Responsiveness of hospital staff
- Pain management
- Communication about medications
- Discharge information
- Cleanliness of hospital environment
- Quietness of hospital environment
- Overall rating of hospital
- Willingness to recommend hospital
The most recent data for all Central Ohio Hospitals was made available in late April 2010. I am pleased to say that, of the 12 organizations in Central Ohio, Memorial Hospital again ranked #2. In addition to being ranked #2, we surpassed both the state and national average scores. Since HCAHPS results were first reported, Memorial has never ranked lower than third or higher than second in Central Ohio. We are thrilled with these results, but have much work yet to do. Our goal is to consistently receive the best scores in Central Ohio, providing outstanding patient care with high degrees of satisfaction close to home---right here in your local community.