What’s the advantage of collaborative healthcare?
Today’s patients often have complex problems that need attention from practitioners across disciplines. A siloed approach to patient care, where each practitioner treats in isolation, can lead to communication failure—a leading cause of serious medical error.The Joint Commission, “Patient Safety”: https://www.jointcommission.org/resources/patient-safety-topics/patient-safety/. In contrast, an interprofessional team approach is correlated with higher patient satisfaction ratings and better health outcomes.Scott Reeves et al., “Interprofessional education: effects on professional practice and health care outcomes (update),” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, March 28, 2013.
To transform the culture of healthcare into a more collaborative environment, healthcare education has also needed to transform, moving steadily in recent years toward IPE.Jordan Utley et al., Interprofessional Education and Collaboration: An Evidence-Based Approach to Optimizing Health Care. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics, 2020.
What is interprofessional education?
According to the World Health Organization, interprofessional education is a style of teaching in which “two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.”World Health Organization (WHO), “Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice.” Geneva, Switzerland: WHO, 2010.
In our IPE courses and activities, students practice delivering a holistic, collaborative approach to safe healthcare. Our students often remark that the most important thing they learn from their IPE courses is how to speak a common language free of discipline-specific terminologies.Jordan Utley et al., Interprofessional Education and Collaboration: An Evidence-Based Approach to Optimizing Health Care. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics, 2020. IPE promotes mutual understanding and reduces hierarchies.Sabine Homeyer et al., “Effects of IPE for medical and nursing students: enablers, barriers and expectations for optimizing future IP collaboration—a qualitative study.” BMC Nursing, April 10, 2018. It also helps our students prepare to practice in the real world—or expand their skillset as professionals.
How Does IPE Work at USAHS?IPE is core to our teaching methodology at USAHS. We have incorporated IPE, and we are expanding its reach across all University programs, through the following means:
Some Examples of IPE @ USAHS
Virtual IPE simulations
During the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty created several interprofessional clinical simulations that leveraged gaming technology, virtual escape rooms, and 360-degree virtual environments.Learn More
Interprofessional pro bono clinic
On the USAHS campus in St. Augustine, Florida, PT and OT students collaborate on treating patients from the local community.Learn More
PTs working with OTs
From their very first week of classes, our physical therapy and occupational therapy students work together in our clinical simulation labs—solving puzzles, reviewing charts, communicating with patients, and practicing clinical skills.Learn More
SLPs working with PTs and OTs
In complex scenarios in our simulation labs, speech-language pathology students collaborate with their peers in our PT and OT programs, learning how to communicate with each other and treat the patient as a team.Learn More
The role of IPE in simulation
At the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) 2020, USAHS demonstrated our thought leadership in simulation for rehabilitative sciences education. Sixteen USAHS faculty and staff members presented about how they use simulation in laboratory courses, including in interprofessional team scenarios.Learn More
Collaborative tech tools
The Double telepresence robots in our simulation centers enable interprofessional collaboration and remote consultation. Healthcare providers communicate with patients and team members through a robot that provides a human-like presence through a screen.Learn More
IPE in health sciences and nursing programs
This post celebrates the launch of the first IPE course in our online post-professional programs in 2017. We now have several IPE courses within these programs.Learn More