Background: To increase the effectiveness of quality-improvement collaboratives (QICs), it is important to explore factors that potentially influence their outcomes. For this purpose, we have developed and tested the psychometric properties of an instrument that aims to identify the features that may enhance the quality and impact of collaborative quality-improvement approaches. The instrument can be used as a measurement instrument to retrospectively collect information about perceived determinants of success. In addition, it can be prospectively applied as a checklist to guide initiators, facilitators, and participants of QICs, with information about how to perform or participate in a collaborative with theoretically optimal chances of success. Such information can be used to improve collaboratives.
Methods: We developed an instrument with content validity based on literature and the opinions of QIC experts. We collected data from 144 healthcare professionals in 44 multidisciplinary improvement teams participating in two QICs and used exploratory factor analysis to assess the construct validity. We used Cronbach's alpha to ascertain the internal consistency.
Results: The 50-item instrument we developed reflected expert-opinion-based determinants of success in a QIC. We deleted nine items after item reduction. On the basis of the factor analysis results, one item was dropped, which resulted in a 40-item questionnaire. Exploratory factor analysis showed that a three-factor model provided the best fit. The components were labeled 'sufficient expert team support', 'effective multidisciplinary teamwork', and 'helpful collaborative processes'. Internal consistency reliability was excellent (alphas between .85 and .89).
Conclusions: This newly developed instrument seems a promising tool for providing healthcare workers and policy makers with useful information about determinants of success in QICs. The psychometric properties of the instrument are satisfactory and warrant application either as an objective measure or as a checklist.