HCAHPS Survey and Acoustics

The main goal of healthcare is to promote healing and recovery for patients. Recent studies have found that a poor acoustic environment can drastically affect the recovery of patients. However, on the most recent HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey result acoustics is one of the lowest scored categories by patients about their hospital experiences.

According to the results from the October 2014- September 2015 survey, published in July 2016, the average score for quietness for hospitals at night across the U.S. was 62%, the second lowest score on the HCAHPS survey.  No state individually scored over 75%, and the lowest ranked states all held steady in the 50’s with the lowest at 52%. While there could be a number of reasons as to why many hospitals scored so poorly, the more likely culprit is the acoustical environment.

The FGI has over 14 different guidelines about the acoustical requirements for hospitals, yet it seems most of them are implemented.   Environmental noise, HVAC system noise, and poor facility planning can all contribute to an unpleasant acoustical environment. Acoustical consultants can help fix these issues early in the design process and throughout construction.  The earlier the design team consults with an acoustical engineer the easier it is address any acoustical issue. The acoustics within a hospital are something that should not be forgotten or thrown to the back burner. It is important for hospitals to address these issues, not just for how a hospital scores but for their patient’s health.

HCAHPS (the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is a patient satisfaction survey required by CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) for all hospitals in the United States. The Survey is for adult inpatients, excluding psychiatric patients. This survey helps to determine the quality of care and the hospital environment. It is used to determine the ratings of hospitals and identify where improvements are needed. The HCAHPS also helps CMS decide which hospitals will receive federal funding.
To learn more about the FGI(Facility Guidelines Institute) check out our previous blog post.

To learn more about the effects of a poor acoustic environment on patients, check out this blog post.