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CAHPS ® and HCAHPS ® Healthcare Services surveys

Benchmark Healthcare Quality of service with CAHPS Surveys

Is your dental, healthcare, or insurance practice delivering great patient and customer care?

How do you know? How do your patients and clients evaluate your practice? And how do you put that feedback into meaningful perspective?

What is CAHPS? The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) surveys give you a way to assess and benchmark your practice or plan against others in your industry, both regionally and nationally in the U.S. A multi-year initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), CAHPS produces standard surveys of patients’ experiences and supports the use of the survey results for public reporting and quality improvement.

What is HCAHPS? Institutional medical or dental healthcare providers can leverage the Hospital CAHPS (HCAHPS®) questionnaire to gather feedback regularly from their patients and clients after each office visit or hospital stay or, if needed, every 12 months. Comparing your HCAHPS results with the aggregated data for providers in your region and across the nation can help focus efforts on continuous improvement of patient or customer care.

Use one of our CAHPS online templates to survey your patients or clients, and then benchmark your practice or plan.

Discover whether your customers find it easy to receive support and coverage for health services through your plan. Assess their overall satisfaction and benchmark your results against other providers in your region and across the U.S.

Assess and benchmark your patients’ experiences with your practice over a 12-month period, gathering their feedback on quality of provider care and customer service.

An expanded version of the CAHPS® Clinician & Group Survey, this version comes with added questions about the elements of care that define a Patient-Centered Medical Home.

Ask patients about their stay at your hospital and their interactions with your physicians and staff. Benchmark your results against other hospitals in your region or across the U.S.

Collect input from parents, legal guardians, and other family members about their child’s experience with your practice over time, including consistency of support and ability to communicate medical information to the child. Track quality of care over time, or among different age groups.

Collect feedback about patients’ experience at child hospitals to ensure compliance with organizational standards and high quality care. Assess nurses, physicians, and overall patient experience. Track changes over time and filter your results to uncover differences between different demographic groups.

CAHPS survey questions capture patients’ and customers’ reports and ratings of their experiences with health care services. The questionnaires are designed to be used when:

  • Consumers and patients have identified such surveys as being important. The CAHPS program devotes substantial resources to identifying and confirming the issues that matter to consumers and influence their healthcare decisions.
  • Consumers and patients are the best and/or only source of information. CAHPS surveys do not attempt to collect information that can be gathered more effectively through other means (e.g., through medical records or from physicians).

In those cases where patients might hesitate to provide you with direct feedback, the CAHPS questionnaires give them the chance to do so indirectly yet constructively. Regular patient or customer feedback, aggregated with the feedback about other providers in your region, gives you an invaluable tool for benchmarking your quality of patient care and customer service over time.

Here are a few ideas for using the CAHPS surveys in your organization.

  • Patient or customer satisfaction programs. Measure your progress against long-term patient or client satisfaction goals. Assess your patient or customer satisfaction improvement programs: for example, whether you’re reaching your annual targets in a multi-year journey.
  • Continuous improvement. Encourage your patients to tell you about their visit and the quality of their experience with you, your support staff, and your facility. Use this patient feedback for continuous improvement in the areas of patient interaction, front office reception, back office administration, and nursing or other staff support.
  • Staffing or training investments. Determine where you should focus training or hiring, based on your patients’ or customers’ experiences. For example, while your patient may rate their experience with you, their physician, very highly, there may be opportunities for improving their experience with the clinic’s scheduling team.

Here are some ideas for ensuring that respondents will answer your surveys.

  1. Confidentiality. In your cover letter or email, repeat the CAHPS confidentiality and voluntary participation statements, to assure respondents that their information is protected.
  2. Pre-testing. Test your survey before sending it, to make sure it works correctly.
  3. Reminder emails. A gentle nudge to respondents can help improve response rates. Use the convenient SurveyMonkey Email Collector to send email reminders to those who haven’t answered your first invitation.

For more information about CAHPS, please visit

SurveyMonkey supports surveys that collect protected health information! If you’re a covered entity regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and want to collect protected health information in your health and well-being surveys, please see our HIPAA Compliance at SurveyMonkey page for more details.

If you are interested in using a CAHPS survey template but have further questions, please get in touch with us.

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