All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Nancy Borkowski

Advisory Committee Members

Michelle Brown

Olivio Clay

Anthony C Hood

Allison Shorten

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Executive Doctor of Science (DSc) School of Health Professions


During uncertainty, the optimum solution for work-related problems or patient care cases require the scopes of practice and competencies beyond a single profession. For this reason, the collaborative efforts of interprofessional teams are a widely used approach to patient care and medical decision making. The interdependency between healthcare professionals with varied expertise and input often lead to desired outcomes. Beyond the structure of the team, there are numerous cognitive processes at play that impact knowledge transfer in highly skilled teams that impact outcomes. Therefore, this dissertation will review relevant literature on two cognitive constructs – psychological safety and transactive memory systems – in order to propose a model that will be used to empirically investigate relationships that effect knowledge transfer and quality in interprofessional healthcare teams. More specifically, with the guidance of transactive memory theory, I plan to explain how transactive memory could potentially mediate the relationship between psychological safety and quality outcomes. I theorize that psychologically safe teams will have the environment necessary to develop a transactive memory system that could be reflected through favorable quality of care. In conclusion, the importance of this dissertation is that it explores the mechanism as to why and how psychological safety affects quality of care delivered by interprofessional teams.

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