Who's behind an HCAHPS score?
Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2011 Oct;37(10):461-8
Authors: Wild DM, Kwon N, Dutta S, Tessier-Sherman B, Woddor N, Sipsma HL, Rizzo T, Bradley EH
BACKGROUND: The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey asks patients how frequently their physicians treated them with courtesy and respect, listened carefully, and explained things in a way they could understand. Such summary reports may obscure differences among the types of physicians involved. A study was conducted to examine the association between ratings for different physician types and the overall HCAHPS rating of physicians.
METHODS: A mixed-methods study included closed-ended surveys and in-depth interviews of patients on a hospitalist teaching service. The three HCAHPS physician communication items were used to interview patients about their communication experiences with emergency medicine (EM) physicians, hospitalists, and specialists. The association between the overall score and the scores of each physician type was examined using Spearman correlation coefficients and linear regression. Qualitative data from additional in-depth interviews were analyzed using the constant comparative method to identify recurrent themes.
RESULTS: Ninety-six patients were recruited for the survey, and additional in-depth interviews were conducted with the first 30 patients. Hospitalist and specialist scores were significantly associated (p values < .05) with overall scores. Recurrent themes regarding determinants of patients' ratings were categorized in three broad domains: individual physician behavior, team communication, and system issues. The influence of each domain differed across physician types.
DISCUSSION: Physician communication scores may be most strongly influenced by patient experiences with hospitalists and specialists rather than with EM physicians. Several team communication and system issues represent opportunities for improving physician communication.
PMID: 22013820 [PubMed - in process]