A Randomized Experiment Investigating the Suitability of Speech-Enabled IVR and Web Modes for Publicly Reported Surveys of Patients' Experience of Hospital Care
Published In: Medical Care Research and Review, v. 70, no. 2, Apr. 2013, p. 165-184
Posted on RAND.org on November 28, 2012
The HCAHPS Survey obtains hospital patients' experiences using four modes: Mail Only, Phone Only, Mixed (mail/phone follow-up), and Touch-Tone (push-button) Interactive Voice Response with option to transfer to live interviewer (TT-IVR/Phone). A new randomized experiment examines two less expensive modes: Web/Mail (mail invitation to participate by Web or request a mail survey) and Speech-Enabled IVR (SE-IVR/Phone; speaking to a voice recognition system; optional transfer to an interviewer). Web/Mail had a 12% response rate (vs. 32% for Mail Only and 33% for SE-IVR/Phone); Web/Mail respondents were more educated and less often Black than Mail Only respondents. SE-IVR/Phone respondents (who usually switched to an interviewer) were less often older than 75 years, more often English-preferring, and reported better care than Mail Only respondents. Concerns regarding inconsistencies across implementations, low adherence to primary modes, or low response rate may limit the applicability of the SE-IVR/Phone and Web/Mail modes in HCAHPS and similar standardized environments.