Variation in Family Experience of Pediatric Inpatient Care As Measured by Child HCAHPS

Published in: Pediatrics, Volume 139, number 4, April 2017;e20163372; doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-3372

Posted on on April 26, 2017

by Sara L. Toomey, Marc N. Elliott, Alan M. Zaslavsky, David J. Klein, Sifon Ndon, Shannon Hardy, Melody Wu, Mark A. Schuster

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Making national comparisons of family experience of inpatient pediatric care has been limited by the lack of a publicly available survey. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services commissioned development of the Child Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey to address this gap. Using Child Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey, we measured performance of hospitals in a national field test.


We analyzed 17,727 surveys completed from December 2012 to February 2014 by parents of children (<18 years) hospitalized at 69 hospitals in 34 states. For each of 18 survey measures, we calculated a case-mix-adjusted hospital "top-box" score (i.e., percentage of respondents selecting the most positive response option). We quantified variation across hospitals by estimating hospital-level SDs for each item with a hierarchical linear probability model. We examined associations of family experience with patient, parent, and hospital characteristics. We compared aggregate performance on each measure across participating hospitals.


Mean hospital top-box scores ranged from 55% ("Preventing mistakes and helping you report concerns") to 84% ("Keeping you informed about your child's care in the emergency department"). The mean for overall rating of hospital stay was 73% (SD 7%). "Quietness of hospital room" scores varied most across hospitals (SD 8%). Overall top-box scores were higher for freestanding children's hospitals (74%) and children's hospitals within a hospital (73%) than for pediatric wards within hospitals (68%, P = .007).


Family experience of pediatric inpatient care shows substantial room for improvement and varies considerably across hospitals and measures.

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