Interprofessional Education in Health Professions: How a Critical Look can Elevate Patient Safety and Collaborative Practice
Concurrent Session 2
Interprofessional Education (IPE) is a requirement in health professions programs, affecting communication, collaboration, and patient outcomes. We utilized a collaborative course design process, incorporating an unfolding case study with a medical record in our online course, allowing students to participate on an interdisciplinary team addressing the patient’s needs.
Interprofessional education (IPE) is an accreditation requirement in educational programs for virtually all health professionals. Because of ongoing patient safety and medical error concerns, national and international organizations have urged colleges and universities to integrate IPE in an effort to improve communication and interprofessional collaborative practice. Communication breakdown is associated with medical errors, and improving communication in an effort to improve outcomes is one of the key reasons for IPE.
Research supports that communication, collaboration, and teamwork will ultimately improve health outcomes. Additionally, professions working together to prioritize patient goals promotes holistic care. Understanding one’s own role and those of others is fundamental to meeting all of the competencies associated with collaborative practice. IPE programs and activities vary, and might include didactic content, simulation activities, or short- and long-term clinical practice.
Students in our online program are allied health professionals completing a bachelor’s degree. Some have completed prelicensure education prior to the integration of IPE, and some have already developed patterns of communicating with other professionals. A critical look at our educational planning course revealed a single discussion that focused on IPE. We found it dull, and sought to find a creative way to increase engagement, apply concepts, and highlight the importance of IPE, thereby improving collaboration.
We engaged in a deep literature review to determine the state of the science of interprofessional education. It has been shown that multiple experiences over a longer time helps in solidifying collaborative relationships and gaining deeper understanding of roles. We developed an unfolding case study and a medical record that were utilized throughout the course. Students participate on an interdisciplinary team to address the health needs of a complex patient from admission through discharge, and then utilize that experience in a mock application for a position on an ethics committee.
Our session will provide an overview of the significance and benefits of interprofessional education from our extensive literature review, and describe the course design process from research through collaboration between faculty and instructional designers. Faculty will highlight the research process, development of the case study and initial ideas for course revision. The Instructional Designers will describe the collaboration utilized to develop and incorporate the medical record, course design process, and integration of elements. We will discuss the changes that were implemented to highlight IPE, evaluation of course grades and quality and number of discussion posts after the changes. We will also describe future steps in terms of planned changes to enhance the course with additional technology, including 360-degree video for the case study and team interaction. Collaborating with our partner schools has identified additional resources such as actors and simulation facilities where we could create videos. We will seek additional ideas from the audience.
To keep participants engaged, we plan use polling technology to assess participants’ knowledge about IPE, types of IPE activities utilized in their programs, and will create an open document from those results which will include resources for IPE in the online environment that can be shared with participants. Handouts of any slides will be provided electronically.
Session goals: Attendees will be able to discuss the significance of interprofessional education in the health professions. They will be able to relate benefits to students, professionals, and patients in health settings. Participants will be able to discuss strategies for incorporating case studies and increasing collaboration in the online environment.