Cahps Survey Questions Cahps Survey

Cahps Survey Questions


Table of Contents

What is a CAHPS Survey?

The acronym CAHPS Survey stands for Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. The target audience for these surveys are patients of a hospital. CAHPS surveys are used to ask patients about their healthcare experiences and feedback about the services provided at a hospital. They measure the patient’s experience with the doctors, clinics, hospital care teams, etc. They can also be used to record their opinions on the health plans, dialysis centers, lab facilities, and emergency services. 

The data collected from CAHPS surveys can be used by healthcare providers to improve their patient experience. They focus on subjects that are important for patients. 

CAHPS surveys are designed using scientific principles. They incorporate standard questions and are circulated among a large sample of patients. 

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Why use CAHPS Surveys?

Patients’ experiences with healthcare are the emphasis of the CAHPS survey. Even though healthcare organizations get to hear a lot from their patients, they may not know what to do with the information. A CAHPS survey can help in this situation. 

The survey creators aim at designing a survey that includes topics essential to both patients and healthcare professionals:

  • Clear communication with doctors.
  • Whether or not they are treated with respect.
  • How accessible are healthcare facilities?
  • Whether they can understand the information provided to them.

Principles of CAHPS Surveys

  • Consumers and patients are the focus

The best source of information is the persons who availed the healthcare services. They do not aim at collecting data that can be obtained more efficiently through other approaches.

Patients are the central source of information for CAHPS surveys. Hence, these surveys spend a lot of time identifying issues that can impact the decisions of healthcare consumers.

  •  Applicability to a Diverse Group of Individuals

The goal of CAHPS surveys is to create them in a way that will be beneficial to a wide range of people. For example, Special groups, such as children and adults with chronic impairments might have their experiences recorded in the survey. Also, CAHPS surveys can be used by people with any type of insurance like Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial insurance. They can also focus on other stakeholders including administrators, clinicians.

  • Standardization across the method used

Survey creators adhere to the same set of rules so that the results of one survey can be compared to the results of another survey. To be able to draw comparisons from the survey results, a standardized format has to be followed in the following attributes:


Protocols are a set of rules that surveys follow to keep a standard approach for collecting samples and engaging with respondents. The method used for conducting the survey can have an impact on the results, Therefore, it is important to use standardized techniques.


The structure of a survey is kept common so that the same survey questions are asked in the same way.


The algorithms used for analyzing the results should be the same to reduce differences in the way results are deciphered.


CAHPS surveys use various tried-and-true methods of reporting the survey results. 

  • Reporting actual experiences of people

There are similarities between a CAHPS survey and a patient satisfaction survey. A CAHPS survey offers a broader perspective that goes beyond the general ratings of doctors and hospitals. It assesses the healthcare services along with the experience of people. The aim is to collect detailed, clear, and actionable data. 

  • Capture relevant data

CAHPS survey questions should be framed such that they ensure maximum results. Oftentimes, research is conducted to help improve the language and wordings of questions. The reporting measures used should be able to yield information that is valuable to the audience of the survey. 

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CAHPS survey questions to ask

CAHPS survey questions can be asked concerning specific categories as given below:

About the patient’s doctor

  • Do you have a personal doctor?
  • In the last 6 months, how often did you visit your doctor?
  • In the last 6 months, how often did your doctor explain things to you clearly?
  • In the last 6 months, how often did your doctor spend enough time with you?
  • Is your doctor attentive to your concerns?
  • On a scale of 1-10, rate your experience with your doctor. 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. 

About the patient’s healthcare in the last 6 months

  • In the last 6 months, did you have an illness or ailment that required quick attention?
  • How often did you receive prompt medical attention?
  • How long has it been since your last health check-up?
  • Have you scheduled a routine checkup at the doctor’s clinic in the last 6 months?
  • In the last 6 months, did you and your doctor have discussions about what you could do to stay healthy?
  • Did your doctor talk about when you should start or stop taking your medications?

Patient’s health plan

  • Have you enrolled yourself in a health plan that covers all your medical needs?
  • How often did your plan’s customer service provide you with the information you required?
  • Was the customer service staff polite and friendly?
  • Rate your healthcare plan on a scale of 1 to 10.

Questions on family’s healthcare

  • How often did the care personnel explain things to you in an easy manner while your family member was at the hospital?
  • How often did the team keep you updated on your family member’s condition?
  • Did anyone from the team give you conflicting information about your family member’s health?
  • How often did the care team patiently listen to your worries concerning the family member’s health?

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In closing

CAHPS surveys help determine where healthcare organizations should invest their efforts in. They give an insight into how successfully the organizations are addressing the needs of their patients. You can create a survey that will help you with this using the CAHPS survey questions provided above.

Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

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