New surveys evaluate culturally competent and health-literate care

Research Activities, October 2012, No. 386

A series of studies funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) focuses on the development and evaluation of new questions (item sets) to assess culturally competent and health-literate care added to the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) surveys. The goal of the CAHPS surveys is to provide patients with a way of reporting on their experiences with health care services. CAHPS surveys go beyond standard patient satisfaction ratings by asking patients to provide feedback that is more specific and actionable. The CAHPS cultural competence item set was developed to promote and measure the provision of care that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.

In several new studies, patients are asked to share their experiences in the health care system on issues such as language access, trust, complementary and alternative medicine, communication, and discrimination. Other studies cover the development and evaluation of two supplemental CAHPS item sets—one for the Clinician/Group CAHPS and one for Hospital CAHPS—that evaluate how well providers address health literacy—that is, patients' varying ability to obtain and understand the basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions. Both supplements to the Clinician/Group CAHPS have been endorsed by the National Quality Forum and may be found at https://cahps.ahrq.gov/clinician_group.

The studies were published August 16, 2012, in a special supplement to Medical Care, which can be accessed free of charge at http://journals.lww.com/lww-medicalcare/toc/2012/09002.

Current as of October 2012
Internet Citation: New surveys evaluate culturally competent and health-literate care: Research Activities, October 2012, No. 386. October 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/oct12/1012RA46.html