CAHPS Emergency Department Survey
The CAHPS Emergency Department Survey (ED CAHPS) assesses the experiences of adult patients who received care in an emergency department and were subsequently discharged home (e.g., not admitted to the hospital). This survey addresses the need for an instrument designed for the unique environment of emergency departments (EDs), which bridge outpatient and inpatient care, provide patients with a critical means of accessing healthcare when other options are not available, and are a setting in which the majority of patients are treated by providers they have not previously met.
The 35-item survey asks about patients’ experiences with:
- Arrival at the emergency room.
- Communication about medicines.
- Information about test results.
- Interactions with nurses.
- Interactions with doctors.
- Follow-up after leaving the emergency room.
Although designed for hospital-based EDs, both hospital-based and stand-alone emergency departments can implement this survey. Results from the Emergency Department Survey can help EDs better understand their patients’ experience of care and improve the services provided to their patients.
How To Get the CAHPS Emergency Department Survey and Administrative Guidance
To access this survey and recommended guidelines for survey administration, please visit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website. No documentation for this survey is available on AHRQ's website.
For technical assistance with this survey, contact: ED_Survey@cms.hhs.gov.
Quality Measures from the CAHPS Emergency Department Survey
The Emergency Department Survey produces the following measures of patient experience:
- Getting Timely Care.
- How Well Doctors and Nurses Communicate.
- Communication about Medications.
- Communication about Follow-up.
- Overall Rating of the Emergency Department.
- Willingness to Recommend the Emergency Department.
Development of the CAHPS Emergency Department Survey
In 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contracted with RAND to develop what was then called the Emergency Department Patient Experiences with Care (EDPEC) Survey. The instrument was designed and tested in accordance with CAHPS principles and guidelines established by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) CAHPS program. The process included a literature review, a call for topic areas published in the Federal Register, focus groups with ED patients and caregivers of ED patients, a technical expert panel, cognitive testing of the survey with ED patients, measure testing with consumers, and field tests.
Field tests and mode experiments. The development process for this survey included multiple field tests designed to determine which survey administration modes will work well for potential survey respondents. RAND conducted three randomized field experiments – in 2014, 2016, and 2018 – that tested the use of a variety of administration modes, including email invitations and web surveys, postal mail, and telephone, in different combinations and sequences. The recommended administration modes for this survey are based on the findings from these experiments.
- Parast L, Mathews M, Elliott MN, Tolpadi A, Flow-Delwiche E, Lehrman WG, Stark D, Becker K (2019). Effects of Push-To-Web Mixed Mode Approaches on Survey Response Rates: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Emergency Departments. Survey Practice, 12(1): 10.29115/SP-2019-0008.
- Mathews M, Parast L, Tolpadi A, Elliott MN, Flow-Delwiche E, Becker K (2019). Methods for Improving Response Rates in an Emergency Department Setting - A Randomized Feasibility Study. Survey Practice, 12(1): 10.29115/SP-2019-0007.
- Parast L, Mathews M, Tolpadi A, Elliott MN, Flow-Delwiche E, Becker K (2019). National Testing of the Emergency Department Patient Experience of Care (EDPEC) Discharged to Community (DTC) Survey and Implications for Adjustment in Scoring. Medical Care, 57(1): 42-48.
- Weinick RM, Becker K, Parast L, Stucky BD, Elliott MN, Mathews M, Chan C, Kotzias V (2014). Emergency Department Patient Experience of Care Survey: Development and Field Test. RAND Corporation, RR-761-CMS.
Review by the CAHPS Consortium. AHRQ approved this instrument as a CAHPS survey in March 2020.