Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

What is HCAHPS and Why Should Nurses Care?

Career News September 10, 2013

HCAHPS stands for “Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems.” It allows consumers to track hospital standards so that they are able to make informed decisions about their healthcare providers.

In short, the HCAHPS program is the hospital focused part of the larger CAHPS program. CAHPS is a multiyear initiative created by and run by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It is focused on supporting and promoting patients’ assessments on the health care that they receive.

Objectives of the HCAHPS Program

HCAHPS nurses should understand that this program was not created to place undue stress on nurses. Many reviews of this program claim that it places too much emphasis on the quality of nursing care that patients receive while in the hospital. According to the AHRQ, however, that is not the goal of this program. There are three essential objectives of the program, and they are as follows:

•The development of standard patient questionnaire will allow the AHRQ to compare patient experiences between different hospitals and over different time frames
•The use of public reports as a way to incentivize hospitals to improve their hospital standards.
•The generation of greater accountability by healthcare providers by increasing the visibility of hospital assessments

HCAHPS Surveys are designed to assess hospital standards based on patients’ experiences. Typically, they are written in ways that focus on the areas of the healthcare experience, where the patient can most easily access. Surveys focus on the relationship that the patient had with their healthcare providers. The survey for HCAHPS, that nurses should realize, has twenty seven questions.

There are four screening questions, five demographic questions, and eighteen questions on patient opinions. These eighteen questions focus on eight topics:

•The relationship the patient had with the doctors
•The relationship the patient had with the nurses
•How responsive the hospital staff was
•How well pain was managed
•How well information about medicine was communicated
•How clean the hospital was
•How the patient felt about hospital standards surrounding their discharge
•How quiet the hospital was

Although nurses are directly cited in only one of those topic areas, it is likely that their performance will be assessed by the patients while they are answering questions pertaining to the other eight topics. Nurses tend to be responsible for most patient interactions at hospitals. They tend to be people with whom the patient communicates the most, and they tend to be the face of the hospital for most patients. For this reason, HCAHPS assessments are often thought to be a direct reflection of nurses in hospitals.

HCAHPS Surveys are public once they are completed because they are part of the public domain. That means that anyone can view them. The purpose of these surveys, as designated by the AHRQ, is to help patients and consumers make informed choices about their healthcare providers. However, this information is also accessed by quality monitors and regulators who wish to understand more about particular hospitals.

These people may be able to impact how a hospital changes or develops. Administrators of health plans or community collaborators may use this data to determine whether or not they would like to include a particular hospital in their network. Although these factors may not affect anyone, nurses in particular, they can have an effect on the hospital as a whole and thus an impact on the providers who are employed by that hospital. Data from the HCAHPS nurses should realize can also be used in other ways.

Quality monitors, health plan administers, and even hospital employees may use the data collected by these surveys as benchmarks to determine the direction that hospitals should take. The HCAHPS was not designed only to assess nurses. However, it effectively focuses on the role of nurses in hospitals.

As individuals, nurses may not be affected by this program. However, it may have a significant impact on their current and future role as healthcare providers in hospital settings.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
Fortis Institute , Grand Prairie
  • Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Nursing Degree Programs from Grand Canyon University's College of Nursing & Health Care Professions
  • Degree Variety: GCU offers a full-spectrum of nursing programs including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as post-master’s certificates.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu-accreditation).
  • GCU provides a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • Depending on the degree you choose, you could take online, evening, or on-campus classes. Speak with an enrollment counselor to discuss your options!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
South University , Virginia Beach
  • Several nursing programs are available at the bachelor's, post-graduate, master's, and doctoral levels.
  • Graduate-level specialization options include Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Administrator, and more.
  • Nursing programs are available at many of the 11 campus locations across the United States.
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Current RNs can choose from RN to BSN or RN to MSN online programs
  • RN-to-BSN program offers courses in Illness and Disease Management, Principles of Assessment, and Holistic Professional Nursing
  • RN to MSN specializations include Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology and more
  • Courses help develop students’ assessment, patient care, and community outreach skills
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.*
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *Excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Get Matched to Psychology, Counseling, Human Services, Organizational, and Clinical Psychology Degree Programs and MORE.
  • View Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate and Graduate Certificate Degree Programs in Psychology and Human Services Near YOU!
  • Accredited and Flexible Psychology Degree Programs to Fit Your Time and Budget. Use Our Matching Service - It's Easy and FREE!
  • Online Courses

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Current RNs can choose from RN to BSN or RN to MSN online programs
  • RN to BSN program offers courses in illness and disease management, holistic professional nursing and more
  • RN to MSN specializations include Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology, and more
  • Courses help develop students’ assessment, patient care, and community outreach skills
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.*
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *Excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!