Improve Patients' Experiences With Primary and Specialty Care

Results of the Clinician & Group Survey can help to:

  • Pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in patients' experiences with medical groups, practice sites, and individual physicians.
  • Assess the effectiveness of interventions to improve patients' experiences in specific areas.

Several resources are available to support health plans in this effort.

The CAHPS Ambulatory Care Improvement Guide

The CAHPS Ambulatory Care Improvement Guide is a comprehensive resource for medical groups, physician practices, and other providers seeking to improve their performance in the domains of quality measured by the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey.

Reports and Case Studies

How Two Provider Groups Are Using the CAHPS® Clinician & Group Survey for Quality Improvement (PDF, 3.45 MB)—This issue brief shares the experiences of two provider groups using the 12-Month version of the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey to improve the delivery of care. It summarizes presentations delivered on an AHRQ-sponsored Webcast on October 8, 2013. For more information about this Webcast, go to

Patient-Centered Care: What Does It Take?—In a paper commissioned by the Picker Institute, Dale Shaller (Yale Team) explored what is needed for widespread implementation of patient-centered care in inpatient and ambulatory care settings. The findings were based on interviews conducted with experts in designing or implementing strategies for achieving excellence in patient-centered care.

Providing Performance Feedback to Individual Physicians: Current Practice and Emerging Lessons—In a working paper, RAND researchers document what is known to date about reporting quality data back to physicians. This paper was based on a literature review as well as key informant interviews. Participating researchers included members of the CAHPS RAND Team.


Webcasts on quality improvement include:

Strategies for Improving CAHPS Clinician & Group (CG-CAHPS) Survey Scores (Webcast)—Two health systems presented their innovative strategies to significatntly improve scores on the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey.

Achieving Excellence Across All CG-CAHPS Core Measures: Lessons from Top-Performing Medical Practices (Webcast)—The top-performing medical practices shared how they provide patients with positive experiences in the areas of access to care and information, communication with providers, and interactions with office staff.

Myth Busting: Using the CG-CAHPS 12-Month Survey for Quality Improvement (Webcast)—This Webcast addresses the misperception that only the Visit Survey can support quality improvement initiatives and offers examples of how health care organizations are using the 12-Month Survey for this purpose.

Improving Patients' Experiences: How Primary Care and Specialty Practices Are Using the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey—Leaders of two medical practices—one primary care and one specialty—discussed efforts to improve performance in the areas of quality measured by the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey.

Improving Patient Care: How Medical Practices Are Using New CAHPS Surveys for Ambulatory Settings—Medical group leaders from Massachusetts and Minnesota shared their experiences using group-level CAHPS instruments to measure and improve quality of care.

Conference Presentations

Several speakers at CAHPS User Group Meetings have discussed using the surveys to improve clinician and group performance. The following presentations were delivered at the 12th CAHPS and 2nd SOPS User Group Meeting in April 2010.

Improving Physician-Patient Communication

  • Gerald K. Arnold, American Board of Internal Medicine (PDF [ PDF file - 2.72 MB], 2788 KB)
  • Denise Quigley, RAND (PDF [ PDF file - 270.05 KB], 271 KB)
  • Robin Weinick, RAND (PDF [ PDF file - 189.41 KB], 190 KB)

Health Plan Use of CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey for Reporting and Quality Improvement

  • Clifford Rowley, HealthPlus of Michigan (PDF [ PDF file - 634.2 KB], 635 KB)
  • Dana Gelb Safran, BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts (PDF [ PDF file - 964.74 KB], 963 KB)

Improving Care Using the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey

  • Benjamin Crocker, Partners Healthcare (PDF [ PDF file - 423.25 KB], 424 KB)
  • Samuel A. Skootsky, UCLA (PDF [ PDF file - 441.25 KB], 255 KB)

View all presentations from the 12th CAHPS & 2nd SOPS User Group Meeting.

The following presentations were delivered at the 11th CAHPS and 1st SOPS User Group Meeting in December 2008.

Using CAHPS for Medical Office Quality Improvement

  • Sam Skootsky, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles (PDF [ PDF file - 312.74 KB], 313 KB)
  • Susan Edgman-Levitan, Massachusetts General Hospital (PDF [ PDF file - 189.75 KB], 190 KB)

View all presentations at the 11th CAHPS & 1st SOPS User Group Meeting.

Page last reviewed February 2018
Page originally created June 2012
Internet Citation: Improve Patients' Experiences With Primary and Specialty Care. Content last reviewed February 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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