Understanding the determinants of patient satisfaction with surgical care using the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surgical care survey (S-CAHPS)

Surgery. 2015 Dec;158(6):1724-33. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2015.06.018. Epub 2015 Jul 17.


Background: Patient satisfaction has been emphasized increasingly in all aspects of medicine, including the imposition of financial penalties for underperformance. Current measures of patient satisfaction, however, do not address aspects specific to the care of operative patients. Therefore, our aim was to examine the recently validated Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (S-CAHPS) to determine which aspects of perioperative care are predictive of satisfaction with the surgeon.

Methods: All patients undergoing a general surgery operation at our institution during a 5-month period were sent a modified S-CAHPS within 3 days of discharge. Patients were then divided into 2 groups: those who rated their surgeon as the best possible and those giving a lower rating. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine predictors of satisfaction with operative care. S-CAHPS results were then compared with other satisfaction measures in a subset of patients.

Results: The response rate was 45.3% (456/1,007). The average age was 59 ± 16 years, duration of stay was 4.1 ± 6.6 days, and 23% underwent unscheduled operations. A total of 72% of patients rated their surgeon as the best surgeon possible. On multivariate analysis, preoperative communication and attentiveness on the day of operation were the most important determinants of overall surgeon rating. S-CAHPS scores correlated with other standard measures of satisfaction (HCAHPS scores).

Conclusion: S-CAHPS is a novel operative satisfaction tool and is feasible to administer to patients undergoing general operative procedures. Surgeon characteristics most predictive of high patient satisfaction are effective preoperative communication and attentiveness on the day of operation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Communication
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Female
  • General Surgery*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Personnel / standards*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Process Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome