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Nancy Mesiha Class 9

Page history last edited by Bev Wood 12 years, 6 months ago

Interprofessional Education

Mesiha Class 9 Assignment


Interprofessional education is an important pedagogical approach for preparing health professions students to provide patient care in a collaborative team environment. The appealing premise of IPE is that once health care professionals begin to work together in a collaborative manner, patient care will improve.1-4

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) declared that “health professionals should be educated to deliver patient-centered care as members of an interdisciplinary team…”.5 The IOM has clearly stated that patients received safer, high quality care when health care professionals worked effectively in a team, communicated productively, and understood each other's roles.5


But what Does IPE really mean?

 Interprofessional education involves educators and learners from 2 or more health professions and their foundational disciplines who jointly create and foster a collaborative learning environment.5,8,24

The goal of IPE is for students to learn how to function in an interprofessional team and carry this knowledge, skill, and value into their future practice, ultimately providing interprofessional patient care as part of a collaborative team and focused on improving patient outcomes. An interprofessional team is composed of members from different health professions who have specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities.5  


The growing importance of interdisciplinary teamwork in health care

The changing organization, financing, and priorities of the health care system are creating new imperatives for interdisciplinary teamwork. Well-coordinated collaboration across professions has the potential to allow comprehensive, population-based, cost-effective patient care and a new emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention, which will be essential in meeting contemporary health care challenges (Baldwin, 1994; Grant et al., 1995; Tresolini et al., 1995). The chart below summarizes the advantages of interdisciplinary team care.




Evidence to support the need for IPE: In the review in article 2008,  6 studies were identifies evaluating the effectiveness of IPE compared with traditional education on patient care outcomes and professional practice. Four of the studies showed positive outcomes on patient satisfaction, teamwork, error rates, mental health competencies or care delivered to domestic violence victims, while the other 2 found no impact on patient care or practice. Since there were a small number of studies with different interventions, general conclusions could not be drawn.

Practice of medicine has evolved over the years, new technologies and treatments together with aging population lead to higher prevalence of chronic diseases.

In Cardiovascular Medicine, Congestive heart failure contributes significantly to health care costs in the United States. For the more than 5 million individuals with this chronic disease, it frequently results in repeated hospital stays and is the cause of 300,000 deaths each year.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that patients with congestive heart failure often do not receive the diagnostic care, treatment and disease-management education they need.

Several studies have addressed the effect of a collaborative quality improvement interventions on the quality of care provided to patients with congestive heart failure.

In my institution we are currently implementing this collaborative team work to achieve better outcomes on different aspects, reduce length of stay, reduce readmission rates, close outpatient follow up, etc.

Also, the Intensive Care Team, has  interprofessional rounds on regular basis, that involve the intensivist, surgical and medicine residents, nurses, respiratory therapists and social workers.

I do agree however that while we are implementing these collaborative team work, IPE, we still need to study its effect on outcomes, barriers and cost-effectiveness.

Among benefits  for patients:

• Improves care by increasing coordination of services, especially for complex problems

• Integrates health care for a wide range of problems and needs

• Empowers patients as active partners in care

• Can serve patients of diverse cultural backgrounds

• Uses time more efficiently

For health care professionals:

• Increases professional satisfaction

• Facilitates shift in emphasis from acute, episodic care to long-term preventive care

• Enables the practitioner to learn new skills and approaches

• Encourages innovation• Allows providers to focus on individual areas of expertise






1. Barr H, Koppel I, Reeves S, Hammick M, Freeth D. Effective Interprofessional Education: Argument, Assumption & Evidence. Oxford, UK: Blackwell; 2005.


2. Brashers VL, Curry CE, Harper DC, et al. Interprofessional health care education: recommendations of the National Academies of Practice expert panel on health care in the 21st century. Issues in Interdisciplinary Care: National Academies of Practice Forum. 2001;3(1):21–31.


3. Freeth D, Hammick M, Reeves S, Koppel I, Barr H. Effective Interprofessional Education: Development, Delivery & Evaluation. Oxford, UK: Blackwell; 2005.


4. TeamStepps: Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://teamstepps.ahrq.gov/index.htm. Accessed April 17, 2009.










Comments (1)

Bev Wood said

at 7:10 am on Nov 22, 2011

Thank you, Nancy, for this comprehensive discussion of the importance of Interprofessional education. We should have, but did not include it in the class.

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