Analysis & commentary. Measuring patient experience as a strategy for improving primary care

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Health Affairs


Volume 29, Issue 5

Inclusive Pages



Patient Satisfaction; Primary Health Care--standards; Professional-Patient Relations; Total Quality Management; Health Information Exchange; Quality Improvement


Patients value the interpersonal aspects of their health care experiences. However, faced with multiple resource demands, primary care practices may question the value of collecting and acting upon survey data that measure patients' experiences of care. The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) suite of surveys and quality improvement tools supports the systematic collection of data on patient experience. Collecting and reporting CAHPS data can improve patients' experiences, along with producing tangible benefits to primary care practices and the health care system. We also argue that the use of patient experience information can be an important strategy for transforming practices as well as to drive overall system transformation.

Peer Reviewed