Patient Experience Assessment is a Requisite for Quality Evaluation: A Discussion of the In-Center Hemodialysis Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers and Systems (ICH CAHPS) Survey

Semin Dial. 2016 Mar-Apr;29(2):135-43. doi: 10.1111/sdi.12469. Epub 2016 Feb 9.


Patient experience surveys provide a critical and unique perspective on the quality of patient-centered healthcare delivery. These surveys provide a mechanism to systematically express patients' voice on topics valued by patients to make decisions about choices in care. They also provide an assessment to healthcare organizations about their service that cannot be obtained from any other source. Regulatory agencies have mandated the assessment of patients' experience as part of healthcare value based purchasing programs and weighted the results to account for up to 30% of the total scoring. This is a testimony to the accepted importance of this metric as a fundamental assessment of quality. After more than a decade of rigorous research, there is a significant body of growing evidence supporting specifically the validity and use of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys, including a version specific to in-center hemodialysis (ICH CAHPS). This review will focus on the ICH CAHPS survey including a review of its development, content, administration, and also a discussion of common criticisms. Although it is suggested that the survey assesses activities and experiences that are not modifiable by the healthcare organization (or the dialysis facility in our case) emerging evidence suggests otherwise. Dialysis providers have an exclusive opportunity to lead the advancement of understanding the implications and serviceability of the evaluation of the patient experience in health care.

MeSH terms

  • Health Care Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Patient Outcome Assessment*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Renal Dialysis / standards*