HealthStream's ED-CAHPS Pilot: A Snapshot of Our Results

This blog post excerpts an article by HealthStream's Berke Bilbay, Associate Vice President, Research Reporting & Platforms, and Amanda Holland, Product Director, Patient Insights, in the most recent issue of HealthStream's PX Advisor, our quarterly magazine focused on improving the patient experience.

To ensure our clients are at the forefront of the new ED-CAHPS Survey that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is preparing, HealthStream conducted its own pilot this winter among 22 emergency rooms across the country. The goal of conducting a pilot survey parallel to the CMS field test was to prepare hospitals that want to adopt this new CAHPS survey before it becomes required. The pilot will enable HealthStream to establish benchmarks and begin developing best practices that support this new survey. This article highlights some of the key findings from the HealthStream pilot.

HealthStream’s CAHPS-Aligned Survey Approach

In 2007, HealthStream made the decision to align all of our Patient Insights surveys with CAHPS protocols. We were convinced that CMS would expand the CAHPS program to cover other aspects of the patient experience beyond the inpatient setting. If your facility is using HealthStream’s ED Patient Insights survey, you will be pleased to know that there is much commonality between the new CMS survey and your HealthStream survey.

The ED-CAHPS Survey

The survey that CMS tested includes over 60 questions. However, we expect the survey to be shorter once CMS concludes its analysis of the field test. Patient eligibility requirements will be similar to HCAHPS rules. Additionally, the CMS question set is very specific in its success criteria. Rather than asking the patient if he or she was satisfied with wait times in general, the questions reference a specific time. For example, “Did you get care within 30 minutes of getting to the emergency room?” and “How long was it before someone talked to you about the reason why you were there?” These specific timelines will become the new standard that emergency departments will need to achieve in order to be successful at ED-CAHPS, which may result in lower ratings when compared to your current survey results. The topics on the ED-CAHPS Survey include the following:

  • Arrival and Triage
  • Lab/X-ray/Other tests
  • Waits
  • Nurses
  • Family/Friends
  • Doctors 
  • Medication/Pain
  • Discharge
  • Tests
  • Overall Ratings 
  • Interpreter Services
  • Demos/About You 

Key Findings of HealthStream’s ED-CAHPS Pilot Survey Results

For the HealthStream pilot, we surveyed over 2,000 emergency department patients from 22 hospitals. The surveys were conducted by phone during the months of February and March 2014.

This article discusses our interesting findings, including:

  • Top box results
  • Lowest rated items
  • Questions with the highest top box scores
  • A correlation analysis
  • Why communication is so important for ED-CAHPS

Find this issue of PX Advisor in our previous issues.

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