How We Compare

HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is a national survey that asks patients about their experiences during a recent hospital stay. Hospital Compare allows you to compare up to three hospitals in the state of Maryland and across the U.S. based on ten important hospital quality topics. Read more information about the survey of patients’ hospital experiences.

(HCAHPS) star ratings

HCAHPS star ratings enable consumers to more quickly and easily assess the patient experience of care information that is provided on the Hospital Compare website. HCAHPS star ratings allow consumers to more easily compare hospitals using a 5-star scale, with more stars indicating better quality care.

Why is this important?

Hospitals differ in the quality of care and services they provide to patients. HCAHPS star ratings provide a snapshot of the 11 measures of patient experience of care on Hospital Compare.

For more information about HCAHPS Star Ratings, please see “Frequently Asked Questions about the HCAHPS Star Ratings”.

Important things to remember

Here are some things to think about as you compare hospitals.

  • The patient experience star ratings are based on the information on quality of care that is reported on Hospital Compare.
  • Hospital Compare displays hospital performance on certain important measures of quality care.
  • Positive results on patient experience of care measures may mean that a hospital is delivering good care. However, other information may be important to you, like timely and efficient care and results or outcomes of care measures, that isn't included in HCAHPS star ratings.

The HCAHPS star ratings compare hospitals to each other. A 1-star rating doesn't mean that you'll get poor care from a hospital. It means that hospitals that got 2 or more stars performed better on this particular measure of patient experience of care. For this reason, we suggest that you use the star rating along with other quality information when making decisions about choosing a hospital.