“How are you feeling?” It seems like a simple question, but it has significant implications for hospitals and their patients. Understanding those ramifications could be the key to improving patients’ perceptions of their hospital stay — and their overall health. Gallup World Poll research has found that positive emotions are effective predictors of self-reported health status and are closely associated with health.
Gallup has also observed this relationship in analyzing the results of HCAHPS surveys. HCAHPS, which stands for Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, is a federally mandated 27-item survey that patients take up to six weeks following a hospital stay. Patients’ ratings are aggregated by hospital and adjusted to control for factors including survey mode and patient characteristics (patient mix). The resulting scores are reported publicly so the public can compare hospitals. These scores also affect a hospital’s Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.