Emergency Department Patient Experiences with Care (EDPEC) Survey
Background: The emergency department (ED) is a unique environment within the health care system, bridging the worlds of outpatient and inpatient care. In particular, the emergency department is a pivotal arena for the provision of acute care services, handling 28 percent of all acute care visits in the U.S., half of all such visits by Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) beneficiaries, and nearly two-thirds of such visits among the uninsured. In addition, the emergency department is the portal of entry for nearly half of all hospital admissions. Further, under EMTALA – the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 – everyone who comes to an emergency department for care is entitled to a screening exam and stabilizing treatment (including hospitalization if needed) without regard for their ability to pay, thus making the emergency department a resource for those who may have no other place to receive care.
About the surveys: As the leading organization spearheading national implementation of patient experience of care surveys, CMS has made considerable investments in developing and testing the Emergency Department Patient Experience of Care (EDPEC) Surveys. In 2012, CMS launched the development of the EDPEC surveys to measure the experiences of patients (18 and older) with emergency department care. The survey respondents will include patients admitted to the hospital following their emergency department visit and those visiting the emergency department who are discharged to the community (also known as “treat and release” emergency room visits). The surveys were developed following the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) principles.
Patients who received care at fully hospital-based EDs will be eligible for the survey. There are currently three draft versions of the survey being tested during the first quarter of 2016: two versions for patients admitted to the hospital that will be administered as a supplement to the existing HCAHPS survey (HCAHPS EDPEC Add-on Version A, HCAHPS EDPEC Add-on Version B) and one for patients discharged to the community (DTC). The surveys ask patients about their experiences with arriving at the ED, during ED care, and after being admitting to the hospital or discharged from the ED. The surveys will provide patient experience data that enables comparison of EDs across the nation and promotes effective communication and coordination.
CMS is conducting a feasibility test for the Discharged to Community Survey (DTC) employing novel approaches to the distribution, notification, and collection of the survey data. The DTC feasibility test includes: mail notification of an online survey; email notification of an online survey; email notification followed by mail notification and phone administration; and a real-time ED-distribution of a paper survey by hospital staff with a mail-in or phone option for completion.
Public reporting and policy relevance: The EDPEC Survey currently is under development and therefore, no decisions have been made as to national implementation. After the mode experiment is completed and the data are analyzed, the surveys and administration protocol will be revised. The survey instruments being administered for the current mode experiment are available below. Please note that these instruments should NOT be considered final instruments that are endorsed by CMS.
For more information, please contact: ED_Survey@cms.hhs.gov