The ADEA Institutional Capacity Building portfolio continues to work with academic dental institutions and other health profession organizations in identifying evidence-based practices for implementing interprofessional education (IPE) for students and to drive innovation on campuses through its Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) Faculty Development Institutes.
Historically, those in dentistry, medicine, nursing, osteopathy, public health and pharmacy worked in silos rather than a collaborative environment. However, to change this, six national education associations of health profession education gathered in 2009 to create and encourage advancement of interprofessional learning to prepare future clinicians for team-based care of patients.
The framework for action on IPE and collaborative practice states “Once students understand how to work interprofessionally, they are ready to enter the workplace as a member of the collaborative practice team. This is a key step in moving health systems from fragmentation to a position of strength.”
IPEC Institute participants develop a framework to implement IPE at their campuses. It takes time to implement change on campuses and ADEA advises participants of best practices in how to implement these changes. ADEA shares with participants feedback and evidence of successes from other campuses. Ultimately the goal of IPE is for students of various health professions schools to successfully learn how to work together and collaborate as a team.
IPE and practice are becoming increasingly important because providers are incentivized to keep patients healthy under the Affordable Care Act. When health professionals view health through a population or community lens, practitioners have more evidence to solve broad health issues. Since the approach is centered on prevention rather than the disease, and because it also involves a group of practitioners, the overall experience for the patient is much more positive.
Approximately 200 attendees are expected to attend the next IPEC Institute, and 40–45 teams consisting of multiple different health care educators will work together to create a plan for IPE implementation for their institutions. For those dental schools that have implemented IPE at their institutions, ADEA has begun to monitor the progress at each school via survey. From those reports, ADEA will update attendees on various successes and improvements of IPE implementation at dental schools.
The next IPEC meeting, the May 2014 IPEC Institute, is in Herndon, VA, May 4–7, 2014.
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