Could interprofessional health education lead to improved care?

Two new studies are going against the traditional siloed approach to medical education and pushing for students in all medical fields to be trained in a set of common, basic skills to help them work together post-graduation, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Six national health professions associations and three private foundations contend that meaningful, interprofessional education in the health professions would enable collaborative, high-quality and cost-effective care for patients.

The first study identifies four core interprofessional competencies that all health professionals need to provide integrated, high-quality care. Future health professional must understand values and ethics for interprofessional practice, roles and responsibilities, interprofessional communication, and teams and teamwork.

The second study focuses on team-based competencies, and in particular, ways to implement those competencies in health education and the delivery of care. They recommend communicating and disseminating the core competencies; developing interprofessional faculty and resources; creating metrics and research; establishing partnerships with the academic community, healthcare providers and government agencies.

The reports also highlight various reasons why interprofessional education is necessary for the healthcare system, such as "healthcare work force shortages, shifting technology, the 32 million additional people who bear a potentially high disease burden and will soon be insured under the Affordable Care Act, and an aging population with multiple chronic illnesses," notes Inside Higher Ed.

For more:
- here's the Association of American Medical Colleges press release
- read the Inside Higher Ed article