How can I get more out of my Hospice CAHPS Survey?

As we have spoken with 1000’s of Hospice Agencies across the nation, it is clear that most agencies aren’t getting the most out of their CAHPS Survey.

So, what can you do to get more out of your Hospice CAHPS Survey? Here are a couple of things to try.

  • Maximize your response rates.
    • First, you will need to understand what your current response rate is. The national average response rate is near 33% but why would you settle for average. There are ways to improve response rates. This starts by educating staff to understand the importance of using correct terminology and working with your CAHPS Vendor to help educate the family about the importance of their feedback. Another is to evaluate the way you are conducting the surveys. For example, it has been proven that Mixed Mode surveys (mail and phone) provide the best response rates.  Have you considered the mode you are using?
  • Utilize the data in your monthly Quality Assurance meetings.
    • Many of the hospice agencies we speak with are not putting the data into action.  In large part this is because they are not seeing the data in a way that helps them use it easily.  Finding a CAHPS provider that will provide an easy to use dashboard and will help you create an action plan will help save time for you and your staff and make the process more meaningful.
  • Identify your Hospice CAHPS vendors strengths.
    • Many vendors are software providers first and CAHPS providers second. This may mean that they are first focused on improving their software and not focused on improving their CAHPS reporting. Bundling your CAHPS surveys in with a software may mean you are being over charged for the CAHPS surveys because those fees are included in your software fee.  Consider using a vendor that is focused on customer feedback and that is designed to help clients in your field understand and use the feedback in meaningful ways.
  • Understand the Hospice CAHPS survey and how it is scored.
    • There are some great resources available to understand the survey and how it is scored. The website has some podcasts to help you understand how the surveys are adjusted for public reporting and how  to interpret your scores. They also instruct you on how to request CMS to review your scores. These podcasts can be found under the tab “Scoring and Analysis”. We also recommend visiting this website at least once a quarter to view any updates that have been posted on the Home Page under Current News.

Are these suggestions helpful? If you have any further questions or would like to know how ServiceTrac can help you with your Hospice CAHPS surveys, please call or send an email. We will set up a time to discuss ways to help you improve your CAHPS survey. We would also to be happy to provide a Hospice CAHPS In-service for your agency.

We know your focus is on providing the best care possible. Let us make your CAHPS survey process easier and more meaningful so that it becomes a tool to help you focus on great care.