Interventions and Hospital Characteristics Associated With Patient Experience

Patient experience is a key hospital quality measure. We review and characterize the literature on interventions, care and management processes, and structural characteristics associated with better inpatient experiences as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. Prior reviews identified several promising interventions. We update these previous efforts by including more recent peer-reviewed literature and expanding the review’s scope to include observational studies of HCAHPS measures with process measures and structural characteristics. We used PubMed to identify U.S. English-language peer-reviewed articles published in 2017 to 2020 and focused on hospital patient experience. The two HCAHPS domains for which we found the fewest potential quality improvement interventions were Communication with Doctors and Quietness. We identified several modifiable processes that could be rigorously evaluated in the future, including electronic health record patient engagement functionality, care management processes, and nurse-to-patient ratios. We describe implications for future policy, practice, and research.

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