Aim: This paper is a report of a study conducted to refine, shorten and validate the Healthcare Team Vitality Instrument.
Background: The Healthcare Team Vitality Instrument was developed to assess team vitality of nurses as well as other licensed and unlicensed personnel working as part of healthcare teams in inpatient hospital units. This instrument was necessary for two reasons. First, other commonly used instruments assess characteristics of Registered Nurses or perceptions about and characteristics of the organizations in which they work, but not these factors in combination with critical factors of interdisciplinary team functioning and collaboration. Second, a short tool for repeated, regular measurement of team vitality was needed to track the impact of changes to improve work environments.
Method: Revisions to the Healthcare Team Vitality Instrument occurred in two phases. Phase 1 entailed collecting preliminary data and conducting cognitive interviews to refine the initial items. During Phase 2, the factor structure of the Healthcare Team Vitality Instrument was identified and a brief form developed and validated. Data were collected in 2006 and 2007.
Findings: Exploratory factor analyses suggested a four-factor solution with the following dimensions: (1) support structures, (2) engagement and empowerment, (3) patient care transitions and (4) team communication.
Conclusion: The Healthcare Team Vitality Instrument can contribute both to better management practices and advancing knowledge to promote retention of nurses, and to some extent other healthcare professionals, as well as efforts to transform the acute healthcare work environment.