The purpose of Interprofessional Education is to prepare health professions students for Interprofessional Practice by teaching collaborative practice competencies within the context of Interprofessional Teams.
Historically, health care professions have trained in “silos” with little or no emphasis on team dynamics. Collaborative practice competencies (the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors) must be included in the foundations of health professions curriculum and integrated across the continuum of learning (both didactic and experiential learning).
Research shows that effective health care teams are a factor in improved patient safety and quality of patient-centered care. Effective teamwork can help accomplish the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Triple Aim – improving patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reduction of per capita cost of health care. Collaborative practice and teamwork can also help to reduce provider burnout.
Collaborative practice competencies fit well within several common heath care domains: professionalism, communication, and systems-based practice. The Interprofessional Education Collaborative’s 4 IPE Competency Domains offer a framework to structure the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors necessary for effective collaboration across health care professions. The competencies can be delivered to students in a variety of learning contexts and should include opportunities for students from two or more professions to come together to learn about, from, and with each other and to practice collaboration skills. Interprofessional Education has a primary focus on collaborative practice competency development and culminate into opportunities to apply or practice with students from other professions.