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  1. Dellefield, Mary Ellen PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Verkaaik, Catherine A. PhD, RN


Background: Surgical teams aspire to be safe and avoid preventable deaths. A lack of teamwork has been associated with safety failures, including adverse events and errors.


Purpose: The purpose of the pilot study was to: (1) modify the Observational Teamwork Assessment in Surgery (OTAS) and the original data collection method to measure registered nurse (RN) teamwork during the intraoperative phase of 5 open heart surgical procedures and (2) recommend strategies to further test the reliability and validity of the modified OTAS.


Methods: This was a pilot study of the OTAS using direct observation.


Results: Although characterized as psychometrically rigorous in prior systematic reviews, using the OTAS to measure RN teamwork in the intraoperative phase of cardiac surgery revealed deficits in its content validity and reliability. The OTAS and its original data collection method were modified.


Conclusion: Recommendations for further use of the modified OTAS to increase its reliability and validity are given.