Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/03/2019

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Groves, Patricia

First Committee Member

Clark, Kathy

Second Committee Member

Farag, Amany

Third Committee Member

Stewart, Greg L.

Fourth Committee Member

Vaughn, Thomas

Fifth Committee Member

Wallace, Andrea


Background: The quality of team-based care impacts patient post-hospitalization outcomes, yet there is a gap in our understanding of how specific team processes impact patient post-hospitalization outcomes. Shared Mental Models (SMMs) is a team process from organizational psychology; it provides an understanding of how providers coordinate complex tasks as a team. SMMs are the team members’ organized knowledge needed for effective team performance. Military research shows that teams with more convergent SMMs have higher performance and better outcomes. In healthcare, patient discharge exemplifies an activity that requires a high level of coordination among interprofessional team members. Two relevant domains of SMMs are Taskwork SMM (team assessment of patient’s readiness for hospital discharge) and Teamwork SMM (quality of day of discharge teamwork). Because of the newness of SMM to healthcare, we lack measures to understand SMMs among interprofessional discharge teams.

Study Purpose & Aims: The purpose was to pilot a novel measurement approach assessing SMMs of discharge teams, and explore their relationships to patient 30-day post-hospitalization outcomes (quality of care transition and utilization of unplanned medical services). Aim 1 determined the content and degree of convergence of discharge teams’ SMMs (taskwork and teamwork). Aim 2 examined the relationship between discharge team SMMs and patient post-hospitalization outcomes.

Methods: A prospective longitudinal pilot study was used to examine the SMMs of 64 unique discharge events in three inpatient units at a single hospital. Discharge team members independently completed a questionnaire measuring the Teamwork SMM (using the Shared Mental Model Scale) and the Taskwork SMM (using the Discharge Provider-Readiness for Hospital Discharge Scale). Data were collected from the patient 30 days post-discharge to determine the quality of transition (using the Care Transition Measure or CTM-15) and use of unplanned utilization of medical services (unplanned readmission or ED visit). Interrater Agreement (r*wg(j)) was used to determine the SMM convergence (or level of agreement) among the discharge team. The relationship between SMMs and the quality of transition outcome (n = 42) was determined using standard regression analysis. Logistic regression was used determine the relationship of SMMs with utilization of unplanned medical services (n = 56).

Results: Overall, discharge teams reported high levels of Taskwork SMMs (M = 8.46, SD =.91) and Taskwork SMM Convergence (M = .90, SD =.10), indicating that the discharge team perceived and agreed that patients had high levels of readiness for hospital discharge. Discharge teams also reported having high-quality Teamwork SMMs (M = 6.11, SD = 0.39) and Teamwork SMM Convergence (M = .85, SD = .10), suggesting that most discharge teams perceived and agreed that high quality teamwork was provided during the discharge process. Discharge events from the three inpatient units significantly differed in their Teamwork and Teamwork SMM content and convergence scores. Discharge teams’ Teamwork SMMs and Taskwork SMMs were positively associated with the CTM-15 score, while controlling for key contextual factors (t = 3.94, p = .001; t = 3.94, p = .001, respectively).

Conclusion : Discharge teams’ Taskwork SMM and Teamwork SMM was positively associated with patient-reported quality of transition from the hospital. There was insufficient evidence to support that utilization of unplanned medical services is related to discharge teams’ SMMs. Measuring the SMMs of the discharge team provides a method for assessing a team process critical to safe patient discharges.


Hospital Discharge, Interprofessional, Patient Safety, Shared Mental Models, Teams, Transition


xv, 229 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 172-190).


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Copyright © 2018 Kirstin Manges

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