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Getting Appointments and Care Quickly 

CAHPS Asks Patients In the last six months:

  • When you needed care right away, how often did you get care as soon as you thought you needed it?
  • Not counting the times when you needed care right away, how often did you get an appointment for your healthcare at a doctor’s office or clinic as soon as you thought you needed?
  • How often did you see the person you came to see within 15 minutes of your appointment time?


Clinical Guidelines

  • Ensure a few appointments each day are available to accommodate urgent visits.
  • Maintain an effective triage system to ensure that frail and/or very sick patients are seen right away or provided alternate care via phone or urgent care.
  • For patients who want to be seen on short notice but cannot be seen by their doctor, offer appointments with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
  • Encourage patients to make their routine appointments for checkups or follow-up visits as soon as they can – weeks or even months in advance.
  • Address the “15-minute” timeframe by ensuring patients are receiving staff attention if provider is Measure vitals, engage in discussions related to HOS questions (urinary incontinence, fall risk, mental health, physical activity), etc.
  • Keep patients informed if there is a wait and give them the opportunity to reschedule.


CAHPS Tip Sheet (PDF)


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