How to Improve Your Scores


Improving your OAS-CAHPS® rating can be broken down into three simple areas: training your staff, tracking your key performance indicators (KPIs) and informing your patients.


  • Familiarity with the CAHPS® survey can help you improve and maintain a high CAHPS® star rating.

    Click here for a copy of the official CMS OAS-CAHPS® survey

  • Train your staff - Make sure everyone interacting with patients understands the CAHPS® survey questions the patient will be asked. It is advantageous for your staff to know the specific areas in which they will be rated!
  • Staff should use the same verbiage as the CAHPS® survey when speaking with the patient.

    For example: The CAHPS® survey reads, "Did your doctor or anyone from the facility explain the possible side effects of the anesthesia in a way that was easy to understand? "
    When speaking with patients, ask them specifically if they have had any "side effects" with their anesthesia. Do not substitute "side effects" with "problems" or "issues". You don't want the patient's answer to be, "I don't remember anyone talking about anesthesia".

  • Happy employees translate to better service. Better service translates into higher satisfaction for the patient.
    • Make sure your staff is friendly and smiles - attitude is everything!
    • Establish and communicate the purpose of your organization to your staff.
    • Motivate your staff through your agency's mission, not by fear.
    • Help your staff hear the voice of the patient.
    • Help staff cope in a stressful environment.
    • Instill a feeling of self-worth.
    • Create a sense of belonging.
    • Recognize and reward individual success and your team's success!

Keep your eye on the prize

  • Check your survey results on our dashboard to see areas where you may need to improve and learn how your agency compares to other ACS/HOPDs.
  • Looks for trends across months to see where your performance is increasing, declining or holding steady.
  • If you see an area declining, compare your score with other agencies using our Tabulation with Benchmarking report to see how common the problem is and how different your score is compared to others.
  • Take stock of your resources and time available: If you see an area in need of improvement, some changes are easy and inexpensive to implement, others are complex and require a significant investment. If there is a need that is overwhelming, it is ok to start small.
  • Keep track of administrative data that can help you: log employee complaints, log patient complaints, track employee work hours, etc.

The more you know, the better your decisions can be.


~ Do's and Don'ts ~


In accordance with CMS, this is acceptable:

  • Inform patients that they may be asked to respond to a patient experience survey. All patients must be notified in the same way.
  • Information to patients about the survey can include the following messaging:
    • The ASC/HOPD is participating in the survey to learn more about the quality of health care that patients receive.
    • Patients may be selected to participate in a survey about their experience at the ASC/HOPD.
  • Indicate that the patient should anticipate receiving a phone call from Fields Healthcare Research. Tell them that you value their feedback and give an example of how your agency has used patient feedback to improve the quality of patient care.

In accordance with CMS, this is NOT acceptable to do the following:

  • Provide a copy of the OAS-CAHPS® Survey questionnaire or cover letters to the patients;
  • Include words or phrases verbatim from the OAS-CAHPS® Survey in your marketing or promotional materials (CMS is encouraging ASC/HOPDs not to use text from OAS-CAHPS® questions in their marketing and promotional materials);
  • Attempt to influence patients' answers to the OAS-CAHPS® Survey questions;
  • Tell the patients that the ASC/HOPD hopes or expects that its patients will give it the best or highest rating or to respond in a certain way to the survey questions;
  • Offer incentives of any kind to the patients for participating (or not) in the survey;
  • Help the patient answer the survey questions, even if the patient asks for the home care provider's help;
  • Ask patients why they gave a certain response or rating to any of the OAS-CAHPS® Survey questions; and
  • Include any messages or materials promoting the ASC/HOPD or the services it provides in survey materials, including mail survey cover letters and questionnaires and telephone interview scripts.
  • ASC/HOPDs should never ask their patients if they would like to be included in the survey. All patients selected to participate in the OAS-CAHPS® Survey must be able to decide on their own whether they wish to participate and will be provided an opportunity to do so as part of the survey process.