Quality Improvement of Interprofessional Educational Experiences Through the Use of a Passport System
The Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPEC) identify the need for students in the health professions to prepare for interprofessional practice in order to provide excellence in patient care. Although the need for collaboration in the clinic has always existed, the impacts of technology, specialization, access to health information, and new delivery structures require the various health professions to think differently and purposefully about how to simultaneously optimize learning and patient care. Implementing interprofessional education (IPE) within the didactic and clinical curriculum across educational programs has proved challenging. Several accrediting bodies require educational programs to clearly demonstrate student progression into interprofessional practice, yet there is a lack of structure regarding how to capture this evolution of learning. Due to this need for progression of skill, a systematic way to measure the activities in which students engage is needed.
It is generally agreed that organizing IPE is a difficult task with numerous administrative or logistical obstacles to overcome. In particular, organizing pre-licensure courses across health professional programs involves overcoming a number of what Pirrie et al refer to as ‘‘internal inhibitors’’ (e.g., inequalities in the number of students, geographical isolation from one another, differences in curricula which cause timetable clashes) and ‘‘external inhibitors’’ (e.g., securing joint validation and accreditation, agreeing on joint financial arrangements). One of these external factors that may determine success of the initiative, is capturing the student’s involvement in IP activities and the relationships of educational activities to obtainment of the IPEC competencies. We looked to apply a system at Regis University for tracking IPE activities and linking them to IPEC competencies modified from an established process from another Jesuit Institution as a template. Disseminating information about this IP passport system may assist IP champions at other universities to contribute to improved quality of student IPE and university accreditation.