The TeamSTEPPS for Improving Diagnosis Team Assessment Tool: Scale Development and Psychometric Evaluation

Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2024 Feb;50(2):95-103. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjq.2023.08.009. Epub 2023 Aug 30.


Introduction: One in three patients is affected by diagnosis-related communication failures. Only a few valid and reliable instruments that measure teamwork and communication exist, and none of those focus on improving diagnosis. The authors developed, refined, and psychometrically evaluated the TeamSTEPPS for Improving Diagnosis Team Assessment Tool (TAT), which assesses diagnostic teamwork and communication in five critical teamwork domains and can be used to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement and monitor performance.

Methods: The TAT was administered as a cross-sectional survey to 360 health professionals across nine diverse US health systems. Content and construct validity were evaluated through pilot implementation and subject matter expert review. Reliability and internal consistency were assessed with Cronbach's alpha. To understand sources of variation in TAT scores and assess the tool's consistency across diverse health care organizations, generalizability theory (G-theory) was used. Best practices in screening for careless responding identified participants with random or nonvarying responses.

Results: Analyses indicated strong support for the tool. Content validity findings indicated that the TAT encompassed relevant diagnostic improvement teamwork and communication content. Construct validity, evaluated through pilot implementations, demonstrated the tool's effectiveness in assessing teamwork categories. Reliability analyses confirmed the TAT's internal consistency, with an overall Cronbach's alpha of 0.97. Each dimension of the TAT exhibited good reliability coefficients, ranging from 0.83 to 0.95. G-theory analysis showed that variations in TAT scores were primarily attributed to respondents (28.0%) and scale dimensions (59.6%); both are desirable facets of variation. Further, examination of careless respondents ensured the accuracy and quality of the results, enhancing the TAT's credibility as a valuable diagnostic improvement tool.

Conclusion: Psychometric evaluation demonstrated that the TAT is a reliable and valid instrument for assessing teamwork and communication among and across diagnostic teams. The TAT adds a novel, evidence-based, psychometrically sound measurement tool to help advance diagnostic teamwork and communication to improve patient care and outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires