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A Systematic Literature Review of Instruments to Measure Coordination

Thomas, Candice, L., PhD; Spitzmüller, Christiane, PhD; Amspoker, Amber, B., PhD; Modi, Varsha; Tran, Thach; Naik, Aanand, D., MD; Woodard, LeChauncy, MD; Auron, Amanda; Hysong, Sylvia, J., PhD

Journal of Healthcare Management: May-June 2018 - Volume 63 - Issue 3 - p e1–e18
doi: 10.1097/JHM-D-16-00025

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Organizing patient care and improving team coordination have been identified by the Institute of Medicine and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality as essential components of high-quality care. Research is lacking, however, on the measurement of care team coordination and its mechanisms. Using an organizational psychology framework developed by Okhuysen and Bechky (O&B) as a guide, the authors identify strengths and gaps in the existing literature related to the measurement of coordination and its associated constructs. The authors conducted a review of peer-reviewed articles in healthcare, management, and psychology journals that contain survey items that could be used to measure the domains in the O&B framework. An initial search yielded 468 articles published from 1978 to 2014, 37 of which came from healthcare journals. From this set, 1,401 candidate survey items were extracted from 74 articles. Of these, 279 items were categorized into at least one O&B domain. Retained items were drawn from scales representing 51 constructs related to teamwork, roles, trust, coordination broadly, and ancillary constructs. Two constructs, physical proximity and plans and rules, were directly represented both in the O&B framework and as standalone constructs in the literature. The remaining constructs contributed items that indirectly assess components of the O&B framework domains. Despite decades of research on coordination, valid survey items for measuring the mechanisms and integrating conditions described by the O&B framework as leading to successful team coordination are scarce, and virtually nonexistent in healthcare, as measures of care team coordination.

assistant professor, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

professor, University of Houston, Houston, Texas

research health scientist, Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety (IQuEST), Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, and assistant professor, Alkek Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Houston

research coordinator, BCM, Houston

research coordinator, IQuESt, Houston

investigator, IQuESt, and associate professor and vice chair, BCM, Houston

investigator, IQuESt, and associate professor, BCM, Houston

research associate, MBR Management Corporation, Springfield, Illinois

lead research health scientist, IQuESt, and associate professor, BCM, Houston

For more information about the content of this article, contact Dr. Thomas at

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© 2018 Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives
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