CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is a CMS program that collects patient opinion data to evaluate healthcare services. CAHPS scores impact value-based reimbursement, with higher scores leading to enhanced revenue and lower scores resulting in financial penalties. Press Ganey is the CAHPS vendor with the largest market share.
Using CAHPS as a benchmarking tool is limited since patients do not comparison shop. They base their opinion on prior experience with the same system or on expectations set by friends and family experience.
Emergency Department (ED) CAHPS surveys focus on adult patients discharged home and are typically delivered through physical mail with telephone follow-up for non-responders. Lengthy surveys with more than ten questions or taking more than five minutes to complete have low completion rates. ED CAHPS surveys include service-related and demographic questions, some of which patients may find irrelevant.
With only a few surveys required per year, physician benchmarking is not feasible due to the inadequate sample size. Despite its flaws, CAHPS is considered the gold standard, and administrator bonuses are often tied to scores.
SmartContact is an automated communication platform that complements CAHPS by reaching discharged ED patients through SMS. It provides brief next-day surveys to assess patient wellbeing and experience.
SmartContact enables alerts routed to the appropriate staff for resolution, ensuring timely responses to patient concerns. It also generates scorecards for physicians after each shift and provides monthly reports to directors and staff, highlighting key performance metrics such as satisfaction, efficiency, productivity, and utilization. This platform allows for recognizing high performers and coaching those needing improvement.
By leveraging SmartContact, hospitals can boost CAHPS scores, enhance the patient experience, improve professional satisfaction, achieve better patient outcomes, and optimize resource utilization at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional CAHPS survey methods.