Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Step in the Right Direction for Interprofessional Education

Valerie P. Pracilio, MPH
Project Manager for Quality Improvement

On May 18th, close to 250 professionals gathered together on the Jefferson campus in Philadelphia to explore ways to redefine education and practice to focus on interprofessional collaboration.

The conference, sponsored by the Jefferson InterProfessional Education Center (JCIPE), attracted key leaders in interprofessional education, including Dr. Carol Aschenbrener from AAMC and Dr. Susan Meyer from the University of Pittsburgh. There is clearly an impetus for change to bring professionals from different disciplines together to practice collaboratively for the benefit of their patients.

Both Dr. Aschenbrener and Dr. Meyer were integral in the development of interprofessional core competencies, which were released a year ago. The competencies serve as the framework for collaborative practice and set the stage for the meeting.  The program highlighted experiences of professionals working to educate and assess competency at their institutions.

A few take-home insights from the conference include:
  • Leadership is needed at the faculty level to integrate interprofessional practice  into the curriculum. Faculty leading those efforts should also represent multiple disciplines.
  • Improvement methodologies such as complexity science and TeamSTEPPS  – a teamwork system designed for health care professionals –  were given as examples of useful tools for collaboration.
  • Students are interested in opportunities to engage with their colleagues through practical experiences, including interactions with patients and opportunities to discuss clinical experiences and challenges.

Dr. Aschenbrener said, “The closer we move toward integration the less team-based care will be an option – it will become a requirement."

Interprofessional collaboration presents an enormous opportunity to learn from one another. Let’s make it happen!

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