The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey is the most commonly used instrument for measuring patients’ perceptions of the quality of inpatient care.
To determine if the hospital survey can also be used to measure patients’ experience of intensive care as indicated by scores on a parallel questionnaire, the Patient Perception of Quality.
Scores on both instruments of all adult patients admitted to an intensive care unit from 2007 through 2012 were analyzed.
A total of 1766 matching pairs of hospital and critical care surveys were identified. Patients’ ratings of the overall hospital and critical care experiences had low correlation: r = 0.32 (95% CI, 0.28–0.37). Using the standard reporting convention, 77% of the participants rated the hospital as 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale, and 65% rated the intensive care unit as 5 on a 5-point scale. Although the hospital survey was always completed by the patient, the critical care survey was completed by a patient’s family member or friend in 76% of cases and by the patient in 24%. Patient-completed critical care surveys had more correlation with hospital surveys (r = 0.45) than did critical care surveys completed by family members (r = 0.30), but the overall correlation remained modest.
Scores on the hospital survey were at best modestly associated with scores on the critical care survey and did not reflect the specific experiences of patients and patients’ families in the intensive care unit.