CAHPS Child Hospital Survey

The CAHPS Child Hospital Survey (Child HCAHPS) assesses the experiences of pediatric patients (17 and younger) and their parents or guardians with inpatient care. It complements the Adult Hospital Survey, which asks adult inpatients about their experiences. Child HCAHPS covers most of the topics addressed by the Adult version of the Hospital Survey as well as topics that are particularly relevant to pediatric care. It was developed by the Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement at Boston Children's Hospital.

Purpose of the Child Survey

The main purpose of the Child Hospital Survey is to address the need to assess and improve the experiences of pediatric inpatients and their parents. Like other CAHPS surveys, this questionnaire focuses on aspects of pediatric inpatient care that are important to patients and their parents, and for which patients and their parents are generally the best source of information. The survey results are expected to be useful to everyone with a need for information on the quality of pediatric inpatient care, including patients, parents, hospitals, health plans, insurers, and policy makers.

  • Patients and parents can use the information to help make better and more informed choices about inpatient care.
  • Hospitals, health plans, insurers, and policy makers can use the survey results for quality improvement initiatives.

Get the Child Hospital Survey

Download the Child Hospital Survey and Instructions (ZIP, 3.9 MB) to get the English and Spanish survey instruments in Word and PDF and guidance on administering the survey and using its results. Information in the guidance documents is based on the survey developers' extensive research into best practices in survey design and administration as well as analyses of data collected during the field testing of each instrument. AHRQ does not require the use of a specific methodology for sampling or survey administration.

For quick access to the survey and recommended administration methods:

Users of this survey may also want to consult the following guidance:

For assistance, contact the CAHPS Help Line at or 1-800-492-9261.

Quality Measures from the Child Hospital Survey

The Child Hospital Survey produces 18 measures of patient experience: 10 composite measures and 8 single-item measures, including an overall rating of the hospital. Composite measures combine two or more survey questions that are statistically and conceptually related.

The measures are listed below, organized by topic:

Communication with Parent

  • Communication between you and your child’s nurses (composite measure)
  • Communication between you and your child’s doctors (composite measure)
  • Communication about your child’s medicines (composite measure)
  • Keeping you informed about your child’s care (composite measure)
  • Privacy when talking with doctors, nurses, and other providers (single-item measure)
  • Preparing you and your child to leave the hospital (composite measure)
  • Keeping you informed about your child’s care in the Emergency Room (single-item measure)

Communication with Child

  • How well nurses communicate with your child (composite measure)
  • How well doctors communicate with your child (composite measure)
  • Involving teens in their care (composite measure)

Attention to Safety and Comfort

  • Preventing mistakes and helping you report concerns (composite measure)
  • Helping your child feel comfortable (composite measure)
  • Responsiveness to the call button (single-item measure)
  • Paying attention to your child’s pain (single-item measure)

Hospital Environment

  • Cleanliness of hospital room (single-item measure)
  • Quietness of hospital room (single-item measure)

Global Rating

  • Overall rating (single-item measure)
  • Recommend hospital (single-item measure)

Review measures from the Child Hospital Survey.

Brief History

The Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement at Boston Children’s Hospital developed the Child Hospital Survey with funding provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) through the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Pediatric Quality Measures Program (PQMP). The survey was submitted to AHRQ and CMS in February 2014.

Learn about the development of the Child Hospital Survey.

Page last reviewed October 2018
Page originally created October 2014
Internet Citation: CAHPS Child Hospital Survey. Content last reviewed October 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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