Creating Topics for Open-Text Questions

Qualitative data is an often untapped resource within the healthcare system, both for patients and employees. Understand how goShadow has been able to leverage the voices of these populations through asking, “What Matters to You?”.

There are three types of questions within goShadow surveys: likert scale, multiple choice, or open-text questions. The balance between the differing questions results in the most meaningful understanding of the respondents’ experiences and opinions. While the likert scale and multiple choice responses can be easily visualized in a word cloud or graph, the open-text responses are more difficult because of the variability in answers. Classifying the lengthy responses into individual categories enables a comprehensive graphical representation of responses. 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and The Department of Defense (DoD) created the Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (STEPPS) curriculum in November 2006. The TeamSTEPPS curriculum was created as the national standard for team training in health care. Because different measures such as the Safety Climate Survey and Safety Attitudes Questionnaire have components of teamwork, AHRQ and DoD wanted to create a standardized methodology to assess and improve teamwork. Six constructs were created by multiple item writers: Team Structure, Leadership, Situation Monitoring, Mutual Support, and Communication (Baker et al., 2008). 

goShadow has taken these six constructs and adapted them to address the current health care and workforce environment. goShadow’s adapted themes consist of Support, Communication, and Safety. The themes are then further broken down into categories. The categories change based on what the questions are asking. The following table is an example of the categories goShadow uses. 


goShadow analysts meticulously read through each response and tag the responses into the respected category and sentiment they believe fits best. A bar chart can then be easily constructed from the categorized responses to give a visual representation. The process delivers actionable results and insights that accurately represent the sentiment of respondents. 

Want to learn more or design your own custom survey with the goShadow team? Email us to get started.

Baker, D., Krokos, K., & Amodeo, A. (2008, October 7). TeamSTEPPS Teamwork Attitudes Questionnaire Manual. AHRQ.



Posted on

July 8, 2021