J Patient Exp. 2020 Dec;7(6):1036-1043. doi: 10.1177/2374373520942418. Epub 2020 Jul 20.
Patient's perception of their inpatient experience is measured by the Center for Medical Services' (CMS) administered Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems (HCAHPS) survey. There is scant existing literature on physicians' perceptions toward the HCAHPS scoring system. Understanding hospitalist knowledge and attitude toward the HCAHPS survey can help guide efforts to impact HCAHPS survey scores by improving the patient's perception of their hospital experience. The goal of this study is to explore hospitalists' knowledge and perspective of the physician communication domain of the HCAHPS survey at an academic medical center. Seven hospitalists at an academic medical center were interviewed for this report using a semistructured interview. Thematic analysis approach was used to analyze data. Open, line-by-line coding was performed on all 7 transcripts. Categories were derived in an inductive fashion. Categories were refined using the techniques of constant comparison and axial coding. We generated themes reflecting hospitalists' knowledge of the HCAHPS scoring system, their perception of the HCAHPS scoring system and the impact of the HCAHPS scoring system on their practice. While hospitalists acknowledged physician-patient communication is a challenging area to study, they are unlikely to embrace the feedback provided by HCAHPS surveys. There is a need to deploy tactics that provide timely and actionable feedback to providers on their bedside communication skills.