In response to the critical issues facing the country’s health care
system, including limited access to care, nationwide workforce shortages and
rising health care delivery costs, professionals from throughout the medical
education continuum are collaborating on innovative changes across many
dimensions of health professions education. These changes aim to transform U.S.
health care into a system that is patient-centered, team-based, and
prevention-focused through the implementation of interprofessional education
The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC), a group founded
by six national health professions associations in February 2012, was created to
formalize leadership around national initiatives to advance IPE. The founding
members of IPEC include the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN),
the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), the
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the American Dental
Education Association (ADEA), the Association of American Medical Colleges
(AAMC) and the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH).
In May 2012, IPEC hosted its inaugural IPE Faculty Development
Institute, which focused on curriculum resources and strategies for advancing
IPE. Registration for the event sold out in a matter of hours, and the
conference drew more than 150 participants. The high volume of interest
surrounding this first institute prompted an encore event in October, again
focusing on faculty development. Both events were attended by teams of three to
five faculty members from at least three different health professions. Thirteen
of AACOM’s 29 member colleges were represented at the second IPE Institute.
IPEC is planning on two additional institutes in 2013. The first of these
is scheduled for May 19-22, 2013, in Herndon, VA, with a focus on
Patient Safety and Quality.
IPEC’s six founding member organizations also helped found the
Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Global Forum on Innovation in Health ProfessionalEducation,
which held a workshop on IPE in November. AACOM President and CEO Stephen C.
Shannon, DO, MPH, attended the most recent two-day event, which served as a
forum for discussing how to improve health professions education through the
study of successful interprofessional models. The IOM Global Forum on Innovation
in Health Professional Education was established to assemble stakeholders in
order to discuss issues in health professions education and facilitate an
ongoing, innovative medium to create and evaluate new ideas.
In addition, on November 29, 2012, the IPEC officially launched
its MedEdPORTAL, an
innovative online collection of high-quality,
peer-reviewed, competency-based learning modules for interprofessional health
education. The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the IPEC member
organizations supported the project. Based on the Core
Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative
Practice, the portal materials are
designed to provide tools to prepare tomorrow’s health professions workforce for
interprofessional, team-based, patient-centered, and community- and
population-oriented care. Portal material submissions are currently
being accepted for peer review and potential addition to the portal. The portal
also includes the iCollaborative, where individuals may post innovations without
undergoing peer review. Materials posted to the iCollaborative will remain
active for three years.
For more information about IPEC and all of AACOM's
interprofessional education activities, visit here.