Since 2007 the Collaborative for Excellence in Interprofessional Education (CEIPE), a group of faculty from all seven University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) health science colleges representing all UIC campuses, has been actively working to prepare UIC health professions students for collaborative practice. This grassroots faculty group has held annual immersion days that have grown to include health professions students from 11 different programs and has made significant progress in developing interprofessional education (IPE) experiences in individual courses and establishing a campus-wide community of faculty committed to IPE. However, in order to institutionalize IPE at UIC a comprehensive strategic plan is needed.
A comprehensive IPE program at UIC has the potential for significant impact in health professions education and health care delivery. The wide range of health professions education programs across all UIC campuses—which is unique in the Midwest region and rare across the country—and the size and diversity of populations served by University of Illinois Hospital & Health Science System (UI Health) present an unusually rich environment for interprofessional education and practice. In addition to the health professionals providing service in UIC’s clinical enterprise, trainees in the College of Medicine’s Graduate Medical Education Programs and health professionals across the state can potentially benefit from UIC offering continuing professional development in interprofessional collaborative practice. The university’s relationships with clinical and community partners add to UIC’s educational reach and create the opportunity to positively impact population health. UIC includes both urban and rural environments for patient-care training and services and places a priority on health care disparities and population health in training and research. Taken as a whole, these factors create the incentive and opportunity for UIC to get IPE right. A prominent IPE curriculum and research effort can help attract top students and faculty to the university and will serve as a national model for other universities. Finally, as a research intensive university, UIC is in an excellent position to evaluate the impact of interprofessional education and interprofessional collaborative practice across multiple educational and practice environments.
The overarching educational purpose in establishing a full IPE curriculum is to produce graduates who understand the critical relationship between teamwork and collaborative, patient-centered care, and who will contribute to the achievement of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim: improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care. To achieve this, the following challenges must be addressed:
- UIC’s decentralized governance and budget models make it difficult to coordinate a program that requires the health science colleges, the health care delivery system and all six campuses.
• Current methods of assessing workload and rewarding performance do not provide incentives for faculty members to be active participants in a campus-wide IPE curriculum.
• The state’s economic environment creates uncertainty about funding for the development and implementation of an IPE curriculum at UIC.
A well designed organizational structure is necessary to proceed with the steps identified in this report. In addition, curriculum development, faculty development, the creation of a comprehensive evaluation plan, and the integration of IPE into the orientation and training of staff at UI Health will be essential elements of a successful IPE program.
TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS
The Task Force recommends the following actions to create a successful organizational structure for IPE at UIC:
1.Establish a central home for IPE with appropriate financial resources.
2.Create a UIC campus-level position to provide leadership for the IPE program across the UIC campuses to implement the strategic plan, along with regionally distributed shared leadership and appropriate infrastructure at each UIC campus.
3.Formally recognize the Collaborative for Excellence in Interprofessional Education (CEIPE) as the Steering Committee for IPE across UIC campuses.
4.Establish a subcommittee of CEIPE (with additional members as needed) to focus on the development of collaborative practice at UI Health and other clinical partners.
5.Establish an Advisory Board that includes faculty, community agencies and other partners, patients and families, clinicians, students, and representatives of key UIC units from all campuses.
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