Using the Trademarked CAHPS Name

CAHPS®, which stands for Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems,1 is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Because each survey is the result of a systematic and thorough research and development process, the CAHPS brand has come to signify a high level of scientific rigor, reliability, and credibility.

Securing the Trademark for a New Survey or Item Set

CAHPS surveys and supplemental items have been developed by both the research organizations participating in AHRQ's CAHPS Consortium as well as by external organizations that may have funding from AHRQ and/or other sources. In all cases, the instrument must meet AHRQ's criteria with respect to the survey's purpose, content, data collection methodology, and development process in order to be granted permission to use the trademarked CAHPS name.

To learn about the criteria and the survey submission process, please request a copy of "Getting the CAHPS® Trademark:  A Guide for Survey Developers" (revised June 2017) from the CAHPS User Network at cahps1@westat.com or 1-800-492-9261.

Guidelines for Using the CAHPS Name

To Describe the Program

Use the full name "Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS)" to refer to the program. In the text of written documents (journal articles, press coverage, etc.), spell out the name the first time that it appears, followed by CAHPS in parentheses: "Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) program." Where appropriate, please indicate that CAHPS is a program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In the Names of Products/Resources

When referring to any survey products or resources developed by or associated with the CAHPS program and its grantees, put the name "CAHPS" first so that it functions like a brand name. For example:

  • CAHPS Health Plan Survey
  • CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey
  • CAHPS Ambulatory Care Improvement Guide

When possible, please avoid spelling out the CAHPS name within the name of a survey (e.g., Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Clinician & Group Survey). To make survey names easier to read and understand, AHRQ recommends using the CAHPS acronym. You can do this by explaining the acronym first and then using the acronym in the product name. For example: "The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) program, which is funded by AHRQ, developed the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey."

If you are fielding a patient experience survey based on a CAHPS survey, please refer to the guidelines on modifying and naming CAHPS surveys.


1. Originally, CAHPS was an acronym for Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Study. That name was changed in 2005 to reflect the evolution of the program from its initial focus on enrollees' experiences with health plans to a broader focus on consumers' and patients' experiences with various aspects of the health care system.

Page last reviewed June 2017
Page originally created September 2013
Internet Citation: Using the Trademarked CAHPS Name. Content last reviewed June 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/cahps/about-cahps/using-cahps-name/index.html