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Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit

​What is the Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit?

Effective communication is necessary for every aspect of quality care and is an increasing focus of accreditation and other regulations. To assist organizations in creating an environment in which communication is effective for all patients, the American Medical Association developed the Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit (C-CAT), which is now administered exclusively through the University of Colorado, Center for Bioethics and Humanities.

Benefits: Why use C-CAT?

• Validated in diverse health care organizations nationally​ ​(C-CAT scores are benchmarked against other hospitals nationwide)​​​​ 

ccat articlesProvides a 360º assessment using coordinated patient, staff and leadership surveys, and an organizational workbook to collect information on policies and practices

• Delivers tangible, reliable metrics that demonstrate whether  an organization’s policies, practices and culture promote effective, patient-centered communication

• Compliments CAHPS assessments, documents compliance with Title VI (CLAS) standards and is invaluable in meeting The Joint Commission’s patient centered communication standards

• Produces valuable information for needs assessments and for meeting other local and national standards

How it Works:

The C-CAT surveys are available for viewing online.  You may download and use the surveys for research purposes at no cost. If you would like to use the C-CAT for a formal, benchmarked organization assessment, send an email to and we will connect you with a trained C-CAT consultant. Qualified C-CAT consultants will help you use the surveys for your organizational assessment, provide benchmarking data and offer tailored guidance for improvement.

*Administration of the C-CAT has transitioned from the American Medical Association to the Center for Bioethics and Humanities. The Center for Bioethics is now the exclusive point of contact for inquiries, consultants and training surrounding C-CAT.

What they're saying...

This toolkit revealed the ‘disconnects’ in our systems. Now we have a clearer road map for improving … we are better able to focus our resources in areas that will make the greatest difference.

— Mary Horan, director, Family Centered Care, Windham Hospital, Willamantic, Conn.

[The] analysis provides excellent baseline data [and] the recommendations provide tangible objectives and areas that can be addressed and integrated within the organization’s strategic and future marketing plan … this data and analysis is ‘gold’ to organizations [and] is also very helpful when seeking funding opportunities, which is always a plus.

— Marisol de la Vega Cardoso, director, Quality Improvement, Family HealthCare Network, Visalia, Calif.

The … specific and detailed reports for each domain, along with recommendations of things we could consider for improvement … were very helpful. Overall we saw an improvement in our scores between the two years…. With this toolkit we were able to take a valid 360-degree assessment on our communication performance utilizing the 9 domains. The assessment results can be useful for tracking an organization’s performance, benchmarking and to inform tailored quality improvement interventions.

— Mary Mixon, assistant administrator, University Hospital and Health System, Jackson, Miss.


Contact the C-CAT Project Coordinator: 

Julie Ressalam  MPH, CHES
(303) 724-6997
or email:​ ​

​Follow the C-CAT Team on Twitter @CCATColorado and LinkedIn