Measuring Ward-Based Multidisciplinary Healthcare Team Functioning: A Validation Study of the Team Functioning Assessment Tool (TFAT)

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The team functioning assessment tool (TFAT) has been shown to be a reliable behavioral marker tool for assessing nontechnical skills that are critical to the success of ward-based healthcare teams. This paper aims to refine and shorten the length of the TFAT to improve usability, and establish its reliability and construct validity. Psychometric testing based on 110 multidisciplinary healthcare teams demonstrated that the TFAT is a reliable and valid tool for measuring team members’ nontechnical skills in regards to Clinical Planning, Executive Tasks, and Team Functioning. Providing support for concurrent validity, high TFAT ratings were predicted by low levels of organizational constraints and high levels of group potency. There was also partial support for the negative relationships between time pressure, leadership ambiguity, and TFAT ratings. The paper provides a discussion on the applicability of the tool for assessing multidisciplinary healthcare team functioning in the context of improving team effectiveness and patient safety for ward-based hospital teams.

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