CAHPS Health Information Technology Item Set

The CAHPS Health Information Technology (HIT) Item Set is designed to help organizations assess the patient-centeredness of physician practices and medical groups that have adopted different kinds of information technologies. Increasingly common uses of HIT include secure electronic messaging, electronic medical records, medication lists, personal health records, and appointment scheduling.

These supplemental items for the Clinician & Group Survey focus on patients' experiences with health information technology (HIT) in a physician's office. Specifically, the Health Information Technology Item Set addresses the following topic areas:

  • Helpfulness of information technologies
  • Experience with e-prescribing
  • Physicians' use of computers and hand-held devices during visits

Browse the Health Information Technology Items for the Clinician & Group Survey 3.0.

Read more about the CAHPS Health Information Technology Item Set (PDF, 312 KB).

Quality Measures From the Health Information Technology Item Set

Users of this item set can calculate and report three composite measures and one single item measure:

  • Getting timely appointments through e-mail or a website (1 item only)
  • Getting timely answers to medical questions by email
  • Helpfulness of provider's use of computers during a visit
  • Helpfulness of provider's website in giving you information about your care and tests

The remaining questions in the item set cannot be rolled up into composite measures.

Brief History

Over the past decade or so, most health care providers have incorporated various forms of health information technology into their practices. The pace of change was driven in large part by pressure from public and private purchasers to adopt technologies that promise to improve the quality and efficiency of care.

To assess the impact of these technologies on patients, AHRQ asked the CAHPS Consortium to develop an item set that would enable survey sponsors to capture both the positive and negative effects of HIT in the practice setting from the patients' perspective. For example, how do electronic medical records (EMRs) and personal health records (PHRs) affect the timeliness of care, physician-patient communication, coordination of care, and the accessibility of information? Does HIT change the patients' perceptions of involvement in, and sense of control over, their health?

The result of this work—the CAHPS Health Information Technology Item Set—was originally released in the summer of 2011. An updated item set for the 3.0 version of the Clinician & Group Survey was released in the summer of 2017. Learn more about the development of the Health Information Technology Item Set.

Page last reviewed August 2017
Page originally created June 2013
Internet Citation: CAHPS Health Information Technology Item Set. Content last reviewed August 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/cahps/surveys-guidance/item-sets/HIT/index.html