Two New Reports Focus on Interprofessional Education

(Pictured at the press event (from left): Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO, AACOM; Lucinda L. Maine, PhD, RPh, Executive Vice President and CEO, AACP; Richard W. Valachovic, DMD, MPH, Executive Director, ADEA; Carol A. Aschenbrener, MD, Executive Vice President, AAMC; George E. Thibault, MD, President, Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation; Maryjoan D. Ladden, PhD, RN, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Harrison C. Spencer, MD, MPH, CPH, President and CEO, ASPH; Geraldine “Polly” Bednash, PhD, RN, CEO and Executive Director, AACN; and Darrell G. Kirch, MD, President and CEO, AAMC.)

On May 10, Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), joined the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) and representatives from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation to announce the release of core competencies for interprofessional education in the health professions, and action strategies to implement the new competencies. This special press event was held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

IPEC includes the leaders of six health professions associations: the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), and the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH).  The first report, Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, was produced by an expert panel, convened by IPEC in 2009.  The panel proposes four domains of core competencies needed to provide integrated, high-quality care to patients within the nation’s current, evolving health system:

1)      Assert values and ethics of interprofessional practice by placing the interests, dignity and respect of patients at the center of health care delivery, and embracing the cultural diversity and differences of health care teams.

2)      Leverage the unique roles and responsibilities of interprofessional partners to appropriately assess and address the health care needs of patients and populations served.

3)      Communicate with patients, families, communities and other health professionals in support of a team approach to preventing disease and disability, maintaining health and treating disease.

4)      Perform effectively in various team roles to deliver patient/population-centered care that is safe, timely, efficient, effective and equitable.

The second report, Team-Based Competencies, Building a Shared Foundation For Education and Clinical Practice, stems from a conference, sponsored by the above mentioned foundations and HRSA, which brought together more than 80 leaders from various health professions to preview the core competencies presented by IPEC and create action strategies to put them in motion. The following action strategies were developed to implement the IPEC core competencies:

1)      Communicate and disseminate the core competencies to key stakeholders—academic deans, policymakers and health care leaders—and launch an education campaign that makes the critical link between collaborative health care teams and providing high-quality, safe and cost-sensitive treatment.

2)      Prepare faculty for teaching students how to work effectively as part of a team and encourage all health professions to use the competencies in their fields.

3)      Develop metrics for interprofessional education and collaborative care to help advance team-based competencies in teaching and practice.

4)      Forge partnerships among the academic community, health care providers and government agencies to advance interprofessional education.

Echoed repeatedly by speakers at the press event, the key to changing the health care delivery system is to involve different heath care disciplines in interprofessional health professions education. Speakers highlighted that while there has been the demand for change in health care education for some time, with new action strategies in place, now is the time to join together and implement them. Speakers at the event included: Carol A. Aschenbrener, MD, Executive Vice President, AAMC; Geraldine “Polly” Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN, CEO and Executive Director, AACN; Maryjoan D. Ladden, PhD, RN, FAAN, Senior Program Officer, RWJF; Lucinda L. Maine, PhD, RPh, Executive Vice President and CEO, AACP; George E. Thibault, MD, President, The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation; Richard W. Valachovic, DMD, MPH, Executive Director, ADEA; and Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, Administrator, HRSA.


To view Inside Higher Ed’s coverage of the press event, see:

 For more information on IPEC and AACOM’s involvement in interprofessional initiatives, visit: here.

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June 2011
Vol. 5, No. 6