CAHPS Hospital Survey

The CAHPS Hospital Survey (often referred to as HCAHPS or Hospital CAHPS) asks people to report on their recent experiences with inpatient care. There are two versions of this survey: one for adults and one for children. Both versions of the survey focus on aspects of hospital care that are important to patients. They also ask respondents to rate the hospital and indicate their willingness to recommend the hospital. The National Quality Forum has endorsed the CAHPS Hospital Survey as a measure of hospital quality.


The Adult Hospital Survey is a standardized questionnaire for people 18 and older who have been inpatients in medical, surgical, or obstetric departments. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for the implementation of this survey and uses it for both public reporting as well as value-based purchasing. As a result, the survey and all supporting documentation for survey administration are available from CMS at; no documentation for this survey can be found on this Web site.


The Child Hospital Survey is a standardized questionnaire for parents/guardians of children 17 and younger who have been inpatients. The Child version asks parents to report on both their child's inpatient experience and their own experience with their child's inpatient stay. In contrast to the Adult Hospital Survey, which is implemented by CMS, the Child Hospital Survey is fully supported by AHRQ's CAHPS User Network.

Improve Patients' Experiences With Hospitals

Nationwide implementation of the CAHPS Hospital Survey has spurred many efforts to improve patients' experiences with care. Examples and information on improvement strategies are available in the following resources.

While these resources focus on the Adult Survey, the findings and guidance are generally applicable to the Child version as well.

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