Calculating the survey of patients' experiences (HCAHPS) star ratings
HCAHPS star ratings enable consumers to more quickly and easily assess the patient experience of care information that is provided on the Hospital Compare website. HCAHPS star ratings allow consumers to more easily compare hospitals using a 5-star scale, with more stars indicating better quality care.
To calculate the HCAHPS star ratings, HCAHPS Survey information from one hospital is compared to that from others. More stars indicate better quality care than fewer stars. The stars are one way of comparing hospitals. HCAHPS star ratings, like the HCAHPS measures on which they are based, are updated quarterly.
HCAHPS survey responses are first converted to linear mean scores for each HCAHPS measure and then adjusted for patient mix and mode of survey administration. Next, a statistical clustering algorithm groups hospitals into five star categories for each HCAHPS measure. For more details, please see the Technical Notes for HCAHPS Star Ratings, which can be found on the official HCAHPS On-Line Web site - Opens in a new window Exit Disclaimer - Opens in a new window.
Why is this important?
Hospitals differ in the quality of care and services they provide to patients. HCAHPS star ratings on Hospital Compare provide snapshots of 10 measures of patient experience of care. In addition, the HCAHPS summary star rating combines all 10 HCAHPS topic-level star ratings into a single, comprehensive metric.
For more information about HCAHPS Star Ratings, please see “Frequently Asked Questions about the HCAHPS Star Ratings - Opens in a new window Exit Disclaimer - Opens in a new window”.
Use the star rating together with other information
It is important that you consider multiple factors when making decisions about your health care and comparing hospitals. The HCAHPS star ratings summarize patient experience, which is one aspect of hospital quality. Complete results for each HCAHPS measure can be found in the “Survey of patients’ experiences” section. You can see detailed information for each HCAHPS measure to learn more before making decisions about choosing hospital.
Important things to remember
Here are some things to think about as you compare hospitals.
- The patient experience star ratings are based on the information on quality of care that is reported on Hospital Compare.
- Hospital Compare displays hospital performance on certain important measures of quality care.
- Positive results on patient experience of care measures may mean that a hospital is delivering good care. However, other information may be important to you, like timely and efficient care and results or outcomes of care measures, that isn't included in HCAHPS star ratings.
The HCAHPS star ratings compare hospitals to each other. A 1-star rating doesn't mean that you'll get poor care from a hospital. It means that hospitals that got 2 or more stars performed better on this particular measure of patient experience of care. For this reason, we suggest that you use the star rating along with other quality information when making decisions about choosing a hospital.