Built to Last: Interprofessional Education Beyond ‘One and Done’

As an educator, you understand that interprofessional education (IPE) strengthens collaboration among healthcare learners, including medical, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, and social work students, among others. IPE develops skills through simulation and experiential learning, allowing participants to gain a deeper understanding of each team member’s role, and an awareness of how coordinated decision making improves patient care. But synchronizing all the people, programs, and resources necessary for a successful IPE program roll-out takes time and effort. Read on for ways to launch – and sustain – an IPE program at your institution.

Develop process buy-in

IPE requires far more time, resources, and coordination than a simulation scenario for a single profession. Coordinating an in-person IPE event can be a daunting task—you should consider how IPE activities will fit in to each discipline or department’s schedule, how events will be organized, administered, and reviewed, and how participants will be debriefed. By creating a “task force” comprised of IPE champions –and Directors, Deans, Associate Deans, and faculty from each discipline or department – you’ll be better able to develop a program that meets everyone’s needs.


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Establish priorities

Work to establish your desired outcomes for the activity upfront: error reduction, lower readmission rates, and improved patient satisfaction. The ultimate goal of all clinical professionals should be to provide patients with the best possible care. IPE makes this easier to achieve. Instead of individual practitioners having to take turns when caring for a patient, they work as a team from the start. This patient-centered care has positive, lasting results.

Foster respectful relationships

Whether your IPE event simulates a simple patient examination scenario or a mass-casualty event, learners of multiple disciplines will be working closely as part of a team. Simulation provides a safe educational environment where learners have the freedom to relate to one another and troubleshoot care delivery practices. As an IPE leader, it’s important that you highlight each learner’s strengths and nurture respectful collaborative relationships.


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Identify communication barriers

Healthcare delivery is becoming increasingly team-based. During a typical hospital visit, a patient will meet with multiple clinicians, which can lead to charting errors, care overlap, and misdiagnoses. Further, hierarchical power struggles may cause additional breakdowns in communication. A post-IPE simulation debrief will allow you to work with your learners to identify barriers to effective communication, and describe how improvements can reduce redundancy and error, and boost quality outcomes, patient experience, patient safety, and use of resources.

Outline grant funding requirements

When writing a grant for your IPE program, first identify resources and potential funding agencies. Your institution’s office of medical education may be able to assist you with finding funding resources and developing your proposal, or direct you to an internal grant program for faculty educational projects. Also examine how comparable institutions have implemented IPE, how they funded their programs, and if they received grant funds, how they sustained their curriculum after the grant period.

Embrace technology

What tools and technology will you need to implement your IPE program? Enhance in-person events with a simulation management solution that connects all your disparate devices in a single location, expedites your data collection, and streamlines your scheduling, reports and analysis, and inventory. Or consider augmenting your program with a virtual IPE solution that allows you to conduct training sessions anytime, anywhere – like the one from EMS SimulationIQ.

Tools to Facilitate Interprofessional Education: SIMULATIONiQ IPE

SIMULATIONiQ IPE is a web-based, virtual patient interprofessional team training platform that enables students from different disciplines to work together on a common case/scenario or case series. It can be accessed from anywhere, anytime as a standalone application or in addition to a site-based IPE program. SIMULATIONiQ IPE saves time, lowers cost, allows collaboration across distances, enables learners to practice together frequently, helps with accreditation requirements, streamlines scheduling, and much more.

For more on IPE and simulation-based training, request SimulationIQ’s free tip sheet6 Capabilities Your Online IPE Program Provider Must Have.

Preparing your students to function collaboratively on healthcare teams requires skill development throughout the curriculum. Different modalities of delivery, including online tools, may be the way to go. But in order to meet accreditation standards, you need to make sure the provider you choose is up to the job. Request the tip sheet to learn what to look for in a web-based IPE provider.

About Education Management Solutions (EMS)

Medical, nursing, and allied health schools, hospitals, and counseling programs use EMS’ suite of products to more efficiently manage clinical simulation centers, effectively evaluate learner performance, and digitally document simulated events. As the leader in clinical simulation management technology since its founding in 1994, EMS provides a complete turnkey solution that includes integrated software and hardware, design and planning, engineering, configuration, installation, training, and support.

Get Your Tip Sheet on: 6 Capabilities Your Online IPE Program Should Have!


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