Cover: Usefulness of Child HCAHPS Survey Data for Improving Inpatient Pediatric Care Experiences

Usefulness of Child HCAHPS Survey Data for Improving Inpatient Pediatric Care Experiences

Published in: Hospital Pediatrics, Volume 11, Issue 10, pages e199–e209 (October 2021). doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2020-004283

Posted on Oct 27, 2022

by Denise D. Quigley, Mary Ellen Slaughter, Courtney A. Gidengil, Alina I. Palimaru, Carlos F. Lerner, Ron D. Hays


Quality improvement (QI) requires data, indicators, and national benchmarks. Knowledge about the usefulness of Child Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (Child HCAHPS) data are lacking. We examined quality leader and frontline staff perceptions about patient experience measurement and use of Child HCAHPS data for QI.


We surveyed children's hospital leaders and staff about their use of Child HCAHPS for QI, including measures from other studies. We compared scale and item means for leaders and staff and compared means to other studies.


Almost all leaders, but only one-third of staff, received reports with Child HCAHPS data. Leaders found the data more useful for comparisons to other hospitals than did staff. Both agreed on the validity of Child HCAHPS scores and used these data for improving pediatric care experiences. They agreed the data accurately reflect their hospital's quality of care, provide specific information for QI, and can be used to improve pediatric care experiences. They also agreed on approaches to improve Child HCAHPS scores. Among staff, QI was reported as essential to their daily work and that Child HCAHPS data were integral to QI.


As uptake of the Child HCAHPS survey increases, our study of one medium-sized, urban children's hospital revealed that leaders and staff believe Child HCAHPS provides actionable metrics for improvement. Our study fills a gap in research about the use of Child HCAHPS for pediatric QI. A multisite evaluation would provide further information about how the Child HCAHPS survey can improve care.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.