Patient Satisfaction Survey Information

These reports came from a survey of Virginia hospitals. The survey is called HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) and is a national, standardized survey of hospital patients. HCAHPS (pronounced “H-caps”) was created to publicly report the patient’s perspective of hospital care. The survey asks a random sample of recently discharged patients about important aspects of their hospital experience.

HCAHPS was developed by a partnership of public and private organizations. Development of the survey was funded by the Federal government, specifically the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

These reports allow you to make fair and objective comparisons between hospitals, and of individual hospitals to state and national benchmarks, on ten important measures of patients' perspectives of care.

CMS makes this data available for downloading from their website. VHI downloads the latest files, tests the information and then loads it into the report structure we developed.

The goal is for each hospital to get at least 300 completed patient surveys per year. In general, the more patients that respond to a hospital's survey, the more the results shown on this website will reflect the experiences of all the patients who used that hospital.

Patients are randomly selected to participate in the HCAHPS survey. Hospitals are not allowed to choose which patients are selected.

All short-term, acute care, non-specialty hospitals are invited to participate in the HCAHPS survey. Most hospitals choose to participate.

Hospitals that treat only certain types of patients or medical problems, called specialty hospitals, are not included in the HCAHPS survey. Examples include psychiatric hospitals or children's hospitals. Children's hospitals are not included because the HCAHPS survey asks about adult care only.

  • HCAHPS survey data must be collected by organizations that are trained by the Federal government in HCAHPS survey data collection procedures.
  • Hospitals can choose to conduct the survey in one of four ways: by mail, by telephone, by mail and telephone, or by active interactive voice recognition (IVR). Regardless of how the survey is conducted, all patients answer the same questions.
  • Patients complete the HCAHPS survey after they leave the hospital.
  • Data analysis is done by CMS, not by the hospitals. CMS uses an independent contractor to analyze the HCAHPS survey data and prepare it for reporting.
  • Data analysis is designed to help ensure fair comparisons among hospitals. Preparing the data for public reporting includes taking certain factors into account in ways that help ensure fair comparisons among hospitals. For example, the mix of patients can differ from one hospital to the next, and these differences in the patient mix can affect a hospital’s HCAHPS results. Data preparation takes these differences into account so that the survey results reported on this website are what would be expected for each hospital if all hospitals had a similar mix of patients. Click here for more about how the data analysis is done to help ensure fair comparisons.

Updated on: 3/6/2019