Welcome to our COMFORT Community!

For those of you who have taken one of our COMFORT courses, you can connect here with your fellow course participants. To those of you considering applying to a COMFORT course, see what other course participants are saying about what they learned in our courses and how they have implemented the COMFORT™ ℠ curriculum at their home institutions.

HCAHPS Success!

What is HCAHPS?

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems or HCAHPS survey (pronounced “H-caps”) is a 27-question survey instrument which measures patients’ satisfaction with their hospital experience. It is administered to a random sample of adult patients 48 hours to six weeks after hospital discharge.  Its 18 core questions ask patients to rate their communication with nurses and doctors, the responsiveness of hospital staff, the cleanliness and quietness of the hospital environment, pain management, communication about medicines, discharge information, overall rating of hospital, and whether they would recommend the hospital.

Why does HCAHPS matter?

It allows for the measurement and comparison of hospitals for the benefit of the consumer. It creates new incentives for hospitals to improve their quality of care so that they continue to receive federal funding. It is administered to a random sample of adult patients across medical conditions between 48 and six weeks after discharge.

Comfort and HCAHPS

One way to evaluate COMFORT training at your institution is to assess before training and after training HCAHPS scores. Several of our course participants have reported significant HCAHPS score improvements following COMFORT™ ℠ Communication Training at their institution:


Melinda Culp and Jaclyn Turner from Saint Francis Health System Cancer Center Inpatient Oncology in Tulsa, Oklahoma report:


“On Overall Communication, the hospital’s score of 90 increased to 94.2; the Nurse Respect score of 95 increased to 95.45; the Nurse Listen score of 90 increased to 95.45; and the Nurse Explain score of 85 increased to 86.36”


Alexandra Broderick and Cynthia Rousonelos from Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joilet, Illinois, report:


“Pre knowledge on the COMFORT curriculum, our HCAP “Communication with Nurses” score was 76.67%. After educating the staff on the COMFORT curriculum, our current HCAP ‘Communication with Nurses’ score is at 90.67%. The threshold is 82.19%. This data demonstrates that our nurses not only retained the information learned but implemented it as well.”

What people are saying

  • “Great training!!! It’s been a very rewarding experience for me especially learning about strategies to improve my communication re: sexual issues and spirituality. The tools in the COMFORT curriculum are AMAZING. Very rich and I’m grateful for the wealth of resources (both hard copies and electronic). I also met some great nurses. I’m truly grateful for the experience.”
  • “It was such a great opportunity to be in a room for 2 days with other oncology nurses who have a passion/desire in communication skills/education. To be able to meet the authors of the publications I have been utilizing for the past 4 years was amazing & networking with them and other oncology nurse colleagues from across the nation was AMAZING!”
  • “The breakouts were outstanding. I only wish we could have gone to more than 2. The educational value was amazing!”
  • “Thank you, thank you for the templates and additional take home resources that will make sharing a breeze.”
  • “The entire conference has been awesome! All presenters were so well prepared & knowledgeable. I feel like I am now empowered to help change our unit’s method of operation. Can’t wait to share with everyone at home.”


Alexandra and Cynthia from Presence Saint Joseph above also reported:
“Upon returning from the conference, we provided a pre-test on the COMFORT curriculum which our nurses scored 33%. After educating the staff on the COMFORT curriculum, we administered three post tests over a period of a month. Post test #1, the nurses overall were at 92.3%. Post test #2, the nurses overall were at 91.3%. Post test #3, the nurses were able to retain the knowledge they learned on the COMFORT curriculum.”

Moran Oliverira and Erin Bisetti from Stanford Health Care’s Blood and Marrow Transport Program had as their goal “To provide COMFORT communication for BMT nurses through unit based in-services, monthly newsletter, and quarterly staff meetings; and to measure effectiveness of material by utilizing evaluations.”

At 6 months, they reported: “We have had great success in meeting this goal. With the support and guidance of our management team, we have been able to roll out a number of different educational opportunities for not only the BMT nurses on our unit but also hospital-wide. We have provided COMFORT communication education through staff meetings, a staff retreat, in-service, and are currently developing course material for a palliative care course early next year. We have received extremely positive feedback, and the evaluations reflect an interest/need for ongoing education.”

Kathy Firminger and Maria Wood from HealthEast Cancer Center in Maplewood, Minnesota
said that they “wanted to work on communication issues that we were having on a day to day basis and make this a more real time process we were improving upon.” So they revised their initial goal and restated it: “Improve the quality of communication in regards to the referral process in Cancer Care. Our goal is to have this done within 3 months. We will plan to add this to our Value Based Initiative metric which will be monitored and completed.”

And they accomplished this:
“We have made a metric to monitor how our referrals come in, and have streamlined this process electronically, communicating to all necessary staff. We monitor this process on a daily basis, and actually come up with ideas if we are ‘not meeting our metric’ to help improve the process. Since we have started this – the referrals have become much more streamlined and there has been staff satisfaction with this process. The referrals are going to the appropriate navigator, and there is more efficiency with the process.”