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Standardized survey helps gauge service and improve quality

Under the direction of a pilot government initiative, hospitals across the country are surveying patients on their hospital experiences. The information will ultimately be used to give consumers a side-by-side comparison of hospitals and their services, but it may also be an opportunity for hospital leaders to better gauge consumer satisfaction and use that information to improve quality. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a CMS initiative to develop standardized surveys of patients' experiences at ambulatory and acute-care facilities. The intent is to standardize a data-collection method for measuring patient perspective on hospital care.