Supplemental Items for the CAHPS Hospital Survey: Interpreter Services
Population version: Adult
Related topic: Health Literacy. Hospitals interested in items that assess interpreter services may also want to review and use supplemental items that ask about health literacy.
Use with HCAHPS: These supplemental items were designed to be added to the Adult version of HCAHPS, which is implemented nationally by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). While users of HCAHPS are free to incorporate supplemental items in order to meet the needs of their organizations, local markets, and/or audiences, the use of these supplemental items is not part of the national implementation requirements. Additionally, some items cover events that occur with low frequency in the general population. You should include them only if your sample design is likely to yield a sufficient number of responses to those questions for statistical analysis and reporting.
Important instructions regarding the placement of supplemental items in the core questionnaire: Under CMS's rules for national implementation of HCAHPS, you must:
- Place all supplemental items after the "About You" section of the survey.
- Add a transition statement to indicate a transition from the HCAHPS questions. To find CMS’s mandatory transition statement, please refer to the HCAHPS Quality Assurance Guidelines on HCAHPS and search for "mandatory transition statement." The statement is available in multiple languages.
- Add a new subheading: "Interpreter Services."
- Format the subheading to be consistent with existing subheadings.
For a shorter set of questions on this topic, use H-IN1 – H-IN6. Questions H-IN8 – H-IN10 are available to provide additional information if desired.
Why are friends and family members included as interpreters? Testing has shown that respondents often include friends and family members as interpreters even when they are given a definition of "interpreters" that specifically excludes them. In order to collect uniform data from all respondents, question H-IN2 includes friends and family members in the definition of interpreters. Question H-IN5 or questions H-IN8 – H-IN10 can be used to identify the type of interpreter, which provides information you can use to analyze the questions about interpreter services.