This blog post was written by our guest blogger Megan O’Donnell, Manager at Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) – Healthcare Division.

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So your organization is conducting surveys of your patients to measure their experience with your practice. Now what? Using the information from the CAHPS®1 Clinician & Group Survey (CG-CAHPS) can help your practice improve the quality of experiences your patients have when visiting your office. Knowing how to use the survey results allows you to turn patient feedback into actionable improvements for your practice. Following some simple steps can lead you through your efforts and ultimately improve patient experience. The first step is to make an organizational commitment to excellence in patient care, as well as having all staff fully embrace the benefits of the patient experience rating.

Once your organization is ready to embrace change, your organization will need to determine where changes can or need to be made to improve the patient experience. The results of the CG-CAHPS survey are a perfect place for your leadership team to find those areas of opportunity for further exploration. Looking at trends in your results, comparing your organization’s results to benchmarks, and reviewing patient feedback and organizational priorities can identify potential areas of improvement, and uncover the causes of negative patient ratings. Observation and/or mapping of a process, analysis of administrative data tied to the process, and additional small-scale surveys related specifically to the process are excellent options to identify the root cause of the problem. Other potential resources include staff, patient advisory groups and the internet. Once all options are on the table, determine which change(s) will help achieve your goal for improvement. Solutions should be practical, feasible, account for cost ,and provide an improvement to the patient experience.

Celebrate successes with your staff when change implementation yields positive results in the patient experience. Engage staff and patients when a change does not improve scores to determine why it didn’t make the expected impact; and identify other changes that could help you along your path to improvement. This should be an ongoing effort for your organization, and your patients will appreciate your focus on providing a high quality patient experience.

RMS Healthcare, a division of Research and Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) has over 50 years of collective and proven experience in providing consulting services to meet the specific needs of our clients. Regardless of your healthcare research or practice transformation needs, RMS Healthcare can help your organization with patient experience reporting.  If you are interested in learning more, please contact Susan Maxsween, Senior Director, Healthcare Operations and Compliance at or at 1-866-567-5422.

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1. The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) program, is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.