Background: The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations is proposing that hospitals measure culture beginning in 2007. However, a reliable and widely used measurement tool for the operating room (OR) setting does not currently exist.
Methods: OR personnel in 60 US hospitals were surveyed using the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire. The teamwork climate domain of the survey uses six items about difficulty speaking up, conflict resolution, physician-nurse collaboration, feeling supported by others, asking questions, and heeding nurse input. To justify grouping individual-level responses to a single score at each hospital OR level, the authors used a multilevel confirmatory factor analysis, intraclass correlations, within-group interrater reliability, and Cronbach's alpha. To detect differences at the hospital OR level and by caregiver type, the authors used multivariate analysis of variance (items) and analysis of variance (scale).
Results: The response rate was 77.1%. There was robust evidence for grouping individual-level respondents to the hospital OR level using the diverse set of statistical tests, e.g., Comparative Fit Index = 0.99, root mean squared error of approximation = 0.05, and acceptable intraclasss correlations, within-group interrater reliability values, and Cronbach's alpha = 0.79. Teamwork climate differed significantly by hospital (F59, 1,911 = 4.06, P < 0.001) and OR caregiver type (F4, 1,911 = 9.96, P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Rigorous assessment of teamwork climate is possible using this psychometrically sound teamwork climate scale. This tool and initial benchmarks allow others to compare their teamwork climate to national means, in an effort to focus more on what excellent surgical teams do well.