Using Patient Experience Survey Data to Improve In-Center Hemodialysis Care: A Practical Review

Am J Kidney Dis. 2020 Sep;76(3):407-416. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2019.12.013. Epub 2020 Mar 19.


Patient experience is an integral aspect of the care we deliver to our dialysis patients. Standardized evaluation of patient experience with in-center hemodialysis started in the United States in 2012 with the In-Center Hemodialysis Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (ICH CAHPS) survey. Over time there have been a few changes to this survey, how it is administered, and how it fits within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program. Although the importance of this survey has been growing, knowledge of this survey among nephrologists has lagged. We provide a review of the survey development and how its use has evolved since 2012. We discuss in detail research done on this survey to date, including survey psychometric evaluation. We highlight gaps in our knowledge that need further research and end with general recommendations to improve patient experience within hemodialysis facilities, which we believe is a worthy goal for all members of the dialysis team.

Keywords: CAHPS; ICH CAHPS; Patient experience; communication skills; dialysis; dialysis facility performance; in-center hemodialysis; patient satisfaction; pay-for-performance; performance metric; provider practices; quality improvement; quality of care; reimbursement; review; value-based purchasing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Communication
  • Health Care Surveys / methods
  • Health Care Surveys / trends
  • Hemodialysis Units, Hospital* / economics
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Posture
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Reimbursement, Incentive
  • Renal Dialysis* / economics
  • Renal Dialysis* / psychology
  • Social Skills
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States