Capturing Our Patients’ and Families’ Experience of Care

CMS had AHRQ (the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) develop validated patient-friendly surveys that could capture the patient’s experience of care in a particular facility.  This could provide a facility with important information about their care delivery, allow comparisons with other facilities (within their system and beyond) and spark collaborative learning.  In addition, this information could incentivize facilities to improve their survey results, if they were posted on the internet.  

This instrument has been mandated in the acute hospital setting since 2007. and the quarterly results of the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey are posted at: .

AHRQ has developed similar surveys for Nursing Homes that are not mandated, but could expose areas of patient care that may merit further attention.  Within a family of facilities, the results could spark regional sharing of best practices as well as reallocation of company resources and training.  The surveys for nursing homes are called CAHPS.  The three CAHPS instruments are designed to assess: Long Stay Residents, Discharged Residents, and Family Members.  They are available in English and Spanish as Word or PDF documents and can be customized to allow your facility logo at the top of each survey.  Each survey can be completed in about 20 minutes.  The instruments and instructions can be found on the AHRQ web site at:

The COVID pandemic has brought national attention to problems in the care provided to the consumer in the nursing home setting.  President Biden in his State of The Union Address of March 1, 2022 proposed plans to improve nursing home care and our AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and multiple other stakeholder organizations are responding to this call for reform.  This year, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) convened an ad hoc committee developed a consensus report, The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality

At this time, the reform proposals are not yet our reality, but the CAHPS instruments are publicly available now and could be mandated and publicly reported in the future.  In my review, I believe they may enhance the patient’s experience of care while improving the satisfaction of your staff and families.  

Is it time to step into the water?

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