Improving Patient Experience
CAHPS® surveys play an important role as a quality improvement (QI) tool for healthcare organizations that use the standardized data to:
- Identify relative strengths and weaknesses in their performance.
- Determine where they need to improve.
- Track their progress over time.
Supporting and assessing the use of CAHPS surveys for QI purposes is one of the key objectives for the CAHPS grants.
The CAHPS Ambulatory Care Improvement Guide
The CAHPS Ambulatory Care Improvement Guide is a comprehensive resource for health plans, medical groups, and other providers seeking to improve their performance in the domains of patient experience measured by CAHPS surveys of ambulatory care. Use this guide to help your organization:
- Cultivate an environment that encourages and sustains quality improvement.
- Analyze the results of CAHPS surveys to identify strengths and weaknesses.
- Develop strategies for improving performance.
Six Ways To Use CAHPS To Improve Patient Experience (1:15)
Research on Improving Patient Experience
Researchers affiliated with the CAHPS Consortium conduct a variety of studies to better understand how CAHPS surveys can be used to improve patient experience.
In 2020, these researchers joined with other subject matter experts and survey stakeholders at AHRQ's annual research meeting to discuss patient experience improvement. Read about the meeting:
- Quigley DD, Qureshi N, Rybowski L, Shaller D, Edgman-Levitan S, Cleary PD, Ginsberg C, Hays RD. Summary of the 2020 AHRQ Research Meeting on "Advancing Methods of Implementing and Evaluating Patient Experience Improvement Using Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Surveys". Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research. May 2002. DOI: 10.1080/14737167.2022.2064848
- Summary of the presentations at the October 2020 research meeting on patient experience improvement methods.
Learn More About Improving Patient Experience
Improving Patient Experience: Data Analysis Methods (Webcast) (1:01:05)
- Learning from Patient Narratives Through Innovative Feedback Reporting Methods.
- The Power of Patient Stories for Improving the Patient Experience.
- Improving Patient Experience in Large Organizations.
- Lessons From Healthcare Organizations on Improving Patient Experience.
- Creative Strategies to Improve Patient Care Experience.
- Strategies for Improving CAHPS Health Plan Survey Scores.
- Strategies for Improving CAHPS Clinician & Group (CG-CAHPS) Survey Scores.
- Excelling on CAHPS: Lessons from Top-Performing Medicaid and CHIP Health Plans.
- Achieving Excellence Across All CG-CAHPS Core Measures: Lessons from Top-Performing Medical Practices.
Expert Advice on Improving Patient Experience
In a series of recorded interviews, various quality improvement experts offered advice on what it takes to design and implement programs that lead to better patient experiences.
- The Case for Improving Patient Experience (11:59). Larry Morrissey, MD, Medical Director of Quality Improvement at Stillwater Medical Group, discusses the value of improving patient experience from the perspective of an ambulatory practice. Access transcript here (PDF, 156 KB).
- Creating an Improvement Culture (Presentation) (17:34). Patrick Jordan, former Chief Operating Officer of Newtown-Wellesley Hospital, discusses how Newton-Wellesley Hospital transformed the organization by creating a culture that supports and encourages patient-centered care. Access transcript here (PDF, 178 KB).
- The Role of Leadership in Improvement Efforts (13:31). Gregg Meyer, Senior Vice President at Massachusetts General Hospital and Physicians Organization and Director of Edward P. Lawrence Center for Quality and Safety, discusses the importance of leadership to support quality improvement efforts. Access transcript here (PDF, 158 KB).
- The Role of Human Resources Staff in Improvement Efforts (Presentation) (18:33). Wendy Leebov, Ed.D, CEO of Leebov Golde & Associates, discusses three ways in which human resources can drive and support quality improvement in an organization. Access transcript here (PDF, 166 KB).
- Advancing Quality Through Teamwork at Multiple Levels (7:00). Marjie Harbrecht, CEO of HealthTeamWorks, discusses the benefits of expanding teamwork to include patients and families, health care practices, and medical neighborhoods. Access transcript here (PDF, 165 KB).
- Identifying Areas To Improve (13:15). Donna Farley, Ph.D, a former principal investigator for the RAND CAHPS Team, discusses how to identify specific improvement opportunities and how to develop an effective plan to accomplish quality improvement goals. Access transcript here (PDF, 174 KB).
- Practical Strategies for Gathering Feedback Directly From Patients (18:37). Susan Edgman-Levitan, Director of John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the importance of patient feedback and various methods to collect feedback to better understand and improve CAHPS scores. Access transcript here (PDF, 195 KB).
- A Breakthrough Approach to Improving CAHPS Communication (Presentation) (20:15). Wendy Leebov, Ed.D, CEO of Leebov Golde & Associates, presents a Heart-Head-Heart Communication model that can enhance patient experience and improve communication scores on patient experience surveys. Access transcript here (PDF, 200 KB).
- Understanding the Factors That Affect Care Coordination (19:53). Melinda Karp, formerly a Director of Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP), discusses efforts to measure and improve patients’ experiences with care coordination in Massachusetts. Access transcript here (PDF, 183 KB).
- Creating an Effective Customer Service Training Program (13:15). Lisa Sergy, System Faculty Practice Group and former Assistant Director of BRITE Training at the UCLA Health, provides an overview of UCLA Health System’s BRITE program, which trains ambulatory staff to provide better customer service to patients. Access transcript here (PDF, 183 KB).
- Tackling Low Health Literacy Among Primary Care Patients: A Model From Missouri (13:00). Stan Hudson, Chairman at Health Literacy Education Committee and Associate Director of Center for Health Policy, University of Missouri, discusses an approach to improve care experiences for patients with low health literacy. Access transcript here (PDF, 192 KB).