Child HCAHPS now available to measure pediatric patient experience

While the HCAHPS survey is useful to collect and evaluate information on patient experience among adult hospitalized patients, the healthcare industry had been lacking a similar tool to measure information on children's hospital experiences. Now, however, such a tool exists and was presented in a recent edition of the journal Pediatrics.

The Child HCAHPS builds on the Adult HCAHPS survey and was three years in the making. The tool was developed by experts in the Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement at Boston Children's Hospital, who were funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and CMS.

Child HCAHPS is made up of 18 composite and single-item measures allowing parents and caregivers to rate heir child's experience as a hospital patient. Experts adapted Adult HCAHPS items so they were applicable to the care of children and also developed new items to reflect topics important to pediatric care. The creation of the new survey involved in-depth literature review, input from stakeholders, experts and focus groups, cognitive interviews with parents and a nationwide 69-hospital field test.

In January, the National Quality Forum endorsed Child HCAHPS as a robust way to measure patient experience. The Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement is now working to encourage hospitals that treat children to adopt Child HCAHPS.

"Since it became available earlier this year, hospitals across the country have started using Child HCAHPS as a driver for measuring and improving the quality of pediatric patient experience," said Sara Toomey, MD, the study's lead author. "Nationally, CMS is developing a strategy for piloting the collection of Child HCAHPS data from states as they do already with other surveys, including adult HCAHPS."

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