Case Studies of Quality Improvement Initiatives

Over a five-year period the CAHPS RAND Team prepared a series of case studies of quality improvement initiatives undertaken by health plans and health care organizations. The studies provide practical examples of efforts to improve performance on various aspects of patients' experience of health care as measured by the CAHPS surveys.

Each case study presents a short overview of the steps an organization took in its quality improvement initiative, followed by a more detailed description of specific actions involved in each step. The contents cover:

  • Performance issues the organization identified from its CAHPS survey data;
  • The strategy and action plan developed to improve its performance in the relevant areas;
  • Its experiences in implementing its action plan; and
  • Resulting effects on its subsequent CAHPS survey results.

Improving Customer Service and Access in a Surgical Practice

This case study (PDF, 998 KB) describes a surgical practice's successful implementation of a six-step plan to improve customer service and access for its patients. Published by RAND, August 2011.

Improving Hospital Inpatient Nursing Care

This case study (PDF, 604 KB) describes a large acute care hospital's successful implementation of a six-step plan to improve the emotional support provided to inpatients by the registered nurses and the rest of the nursing staff. Published by RAND, April 2010.

Improving Performance for Health Plan Customer Service

This case study (PDF, 1.2 MB) focuses on the successful quality improvement methods employed by a health plan to improve customer service for its members. Published by RAND, August 2007. Review a summary of this report (PDF, 1.2 MB).


Page last reviewed December 2017
Page originally created March 2012
Internet Citation: Case Studies of Quality Improvement Initiatives. Content last reviewed December 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.