Safe, reliable, high-quality critical care delivery depends upon interprofessional teamwork.


To describe perceptions of intensive care unit (ICU) teamwork and healthy work environments and evaluate whether perceptions vary by profession.


In August 2015, Assessment of Interprofessional Team Collaboration Scale (AITCS) and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool (HWEAT) surveys were distributed to all interprofessional members at the 68 ICUs participating in the ICU Liberation Collaborative. Overall scores range from 1 (needs improvement) to 5 (excellent).


Most of the 3586 surveys completed were from registered nurses (51.2%), followed by respiratory therapists (17.8%), attending physicians (10.5%), rehabilitation therapists (8.3%), pharmacists (4.9%), nursing assistants (3.1%), and physician trainees (4.1%). Overall, respondents rated teamwork and work environment health favorably (mean [SD] scores: AITCS, 3.92 [0.64]; HWEAT, 3.45 [0.79]). The highest-rated AITCS domain was “partnership/shared decision-making” (mean [SD], 4.00 [0.63); lowest, “coordination” (3.67 [0.80]). The highest-scoring HWEAT standard was “effective decision-making” (mean [SD], 3.60 [0.79]); lowest, “meaningful recognition” (3.30 [0.92]). Compared with attending physicians (mean [SD] scores: AITCS, 3.99 [0.54]; HWEAT, 3.48 [0.70]), AITCS scores were lower for registered nurses (3.91 [0.62]), respiratory therapists (3.86 [0.76]), rehabilitation therapists (3.84 [0.65]), and pharmacists (3.83 [0.55]), and HWEAT scores were lower for respiratory therapists (3.38 [0.86]) (all P ≤ .05).


Teamwork and work environment health were rated by ICU team members as good but not excellent. Care coordination and meaningful recognition can be improved.

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