The HCAHPS Survey was created with three goals in mind. First, it allows for valid comparisons of hospitals locally, regionally and nationally based on topics that are important to consumers. Second, public reporting of HCAHPS results creates new incentives for hospitals to improve quality of care. Third, public reporting enhances accountability in health care by increasing transparency of the quality of hospital care provided in return for the public investment.
The survey is given to recently discharged patients in the medical, surgical, and maternity care service lines between 48 hours and 6 weeks after discharge. The survey is implemented in one of four ways: mail, telephone, mail with telephone follow-up, or active voice recognition (AVR).