New Supplemental Health Literacy Items for the CAHPS Hospital Survey (HCAHPS)

Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) 20th Anniversary Logo

Now Available: CAHPS Health Literacy Item Set for Hospitals

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has developed a new CAHPS Health Literacy Item Set for the CAHPS Hospital Survey (HCAHPS) to better understand the communication challenges faced by many hospital patients. These items ask adult patients about communicating with hospital professionals and using interpreter services. The topics include:

  • Information about medications
  • Communication between nurses and patients
  • Communication between doctors and patients
  • Communication about tests
  • Communication about forms
  • Information about how to care for yourself at home

The responses to these survey items offer information that hospitals can use to improve their health literacy practices.

To download the supplemental items and learn more about this item set, go to https://www.cahps.ahrq.gov/surveys-guidance/hospital/instructions/hospinstructions.html.

For more information about the CAHPS Health Literacy Item Sets for the HCAHPS Survey and other CAHPS surveys, go to https://www.cahps.ahrq.gov/surveys-guidance/item-sets/literacy/index.html.

For more information on the HCAHPS Survey, please visit the HCAHPS On-Line Web site at www.HCAHPSonline.org.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the CAHPS Help Line at cahps1@westat.com or 1-800-492-9261.

Review more health literacy resources from AHRQ at http://www.ahrq.gov/health-care-information/topics/topic-health-literacy.html.


About CAHPS

Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) surveys ask consumers about their experiences with health care. The CAHPS program at the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) supports the development and promotion of CAHPS surveys, instructional materials, and comparative databases, and provides technical assistance to users. Learn more about AHRQ’s CAHPS program at: www.cahps.ahrq.gov.

AHRQ’s CAHPS Database receives data voluntarily submitted by users that have administered either the CAHPS Health Plan Survey or the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey. The CAHPS Database aggregates the data to facilitate comparisons of CAHPS survey results by users, researchers, and other interested organizations. Learn more about AHRQ’s CAHPS Database at: www.cahpsdatabase.ahrq.gov.