Academic journal article Journal of Allied Health

Interprofessional Practice and Education: Holistic Approaches to Complex Health Care Challenges

Academic journal article Journal of Allied Health

Interprofessional Practice and Education: Holistic Approaches to Complex Health Care Challenges

Article excerpt

The incidence of chronic health conditions continues to rise worldwide. As a result, many groups and deci- sion makers are calling for greater use of interprofes- sional health care teams and education to effectively address the social, psychological, biological, environ- mental, and economic dimensions inherent in these health care challenges. This article examines interpro- fessional practice (IPP) and interprofessional education (IPE) and addresses the following questions: 1) What is IPP; 2) What is IPE; 3) What competencies are necessary to effectively engage in IPP; 4) Who should be educated to serve on IPP health delivery teams; and 5) What edu- cational model can best prepare health care profession- als with the skills and practice experiences needed to address complex health issues in a comprehensive fash- ion? We propose a unique university-based IPE model that effectively addresses complex health issues and maximizes collaboration among clinical, nonclinical, and community stakeholders. J Allied Health 2014; 43(3)4 50-156.

THE INCIDENCE of chronic health conditions continues to rise worldwide. Conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cataracts, chronic pulmonary disease, hearing impairment, chronic back pain, and arthritis continue to increase among youth and adults and require healthcare delivery approaches that reflect the interplay of social, psychological, biological, environ- mental, and economic dimensions inherent in these healthcare challenges.1 Consequently, many individuals and groups are calling for greater utilization of interpro- fessional, interdisciplinary, and even transdisciplinary educational models that prepare future health care pro- fessionals to address the complexity in today's healthcare environment.2-6 In fact, the Commission on Education of Health Professionals for the 21st Century is calling for a global movement to promote interprofessional trans- formative health education.7 Given the growing cultural diversity, aging of American's population, fragmentation of the healthcare system, ongoing pressure for efficiency, and the shift in focus from acute to chronic care in the healthcare industry, a collaborative, interprofessional approach is needed to coordinate patient care in a safe, comprehensive, and effective manner.6,8-11

While interprofessional practice (IPP) is highly rec- ommended and is critical to health care reform, a report from the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) concluded that interprofessional education (IPE) lacks the attention, technology infrastructure, and positive attitudes necessary to further IPE among health profession educators.12 As a result, there remains "a pressing need to redesign health professions' education and integrate an interprofessional and systems' approach to training. "13(p444)

This article examines interprofessional practice (IPP) and interprofessional education (IPE) and addresses the following questions: 1) What is IPP; 2) What is IPE; 3) What competencies are necessary to effectively engage in IPP; 4) Who should be educated to serve on IPP health delivery teams; and, 5) What educational model can best prepare health care professionals with the skills and practice experiences needed to address com- plex health issues in a comprehensive fashion? We pro- pose a unique university-based IPE model that effec- tively addresses complex health issues and maximizes collaboration among clinical, nonclinical, and commu- nity stakeholders.

What is Interprofessional Practice?

IPP, also referred to as interdisciplinary practice or interprofessionality, invites relevant healthcare disci- plines and professions to integrate their expertise in order to understand and collaboratively address a health-related issue or condition.14 D'Amour and Oan- dasan define interprofessionality as:

A process by which professionals reflect on and develop ways of practicing that provides an integrated and cohe- sive answer to the needs of the client/family population. …

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