Introduction: Literature demonstrates a lack of structured reporting of interprofessional (IPE) education activities and challenges objectively measuring team performance. The purposes of this article are: to provide a structured description of a simulation-enhanced IPE project focusing on pre-licensure health care student team performance; and, to describe how the Communication and Teamwork Skills (CATS) assessment was adapted to assess teamwork and communication skills during student team simulations.

Methods: Simulated case scenarios were conducted with teams consisting of nursing, respiratory therapy, and medical students. The CATS tool was adapted for use in IPE simulations by adding two statements that globally assessed frequency and quality of teamwork. Individual items from the CATS tool guided assessment of overall team performance. Faculty assessors piloted the tool by discussing tool components and assessing several sample cases together. Faculty assessors then scored each simulation individually and the adapted CATS tool was assessed for inter-rater reliability.

Results: The team assessed sixty-eight cases (n=68). Thirty-four (n=34) cases were rated by three of the faculty and thirty-four (n=34) were rated by two faculty. Inter-rater reliability for frequency of communication was .808 and .789 for quality of communication.

Conclusion: This project suggests that an adapted version of the CATS assessment tool can be used to reliably assess communication performance of health care student teams during a simulated acute care case. In addition, the planning team hopes that the project can be replicated to develop a model of IPE that is sustainable and feasible within other academic or health care settings.

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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