IPE Panel focuses on disciplines working together to provide best patient care

The internal UMKC health sciences panel consisted of (from left to right) Susan Kimble, D.P., P.N. D.P., R.N., A.N.P.-B.C., Pam Overman, Ed.D., Stefanie Ellison, M.D., Jennifer Santee, Pharm.D., and Jolene Lynn, Ph.D(c), R.N.

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and dentists collaborate to treat a patient. Doesn’t it make sense for collaboration to be part of their education as well?

That’s the idea behind interprofessional education (IPE), an emerging priority in the education of health care professionals.

“In the workplace, the students we train become part of a medical care team. It makes sense that for the best patient-centered care, health professional students need to begin that training while in School,” said Dean Betty Drees, M.D. “This workshop brings together national experts and internal collaborators, helping the Schools move forward with more IPE collaboration.”

On Tuesday Nov. 27, national leaders in health professional education gathered at the Hospital Hill Campus to discuss progress, challenges and advances in the process of weaving IPE into the fabric of educating future doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists. External panelists included the following:

  • Carol Aschenbrener, M.D., chief medical education officer, Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Lucinda Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph., executive vice president and CEO, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • Jane Kirschling, D.N.S., R.N., F.A.A.N., president, American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • Melissa J. Robinson, M.B.A., (Patient Advocate), president, Black Health Care Coalition
  • Leo Rouse, D.D.S., dean, Howard University College of Dentistry
The external included (from left to right) Melissa J. Robinson, M.B.A., Leo Rouse, D.D.S., Lucinda Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph., Jane Kirschling, D.N.S., R.N., F.A.A.N., and Carol Aschenbrener, M.D.

The panel agreed that bringing health professional schools together to learn has many dimensions, but four critical components: leadership support, managing change, establishing and maintaining trust, and being honest.

“Change happens at the speed of trust,” was the quote by Gary Gunderson that Maine used in describing how quickly IPE is implemented.

However, it was patient advocate, Robinson, who captured the benefit of IPE. “It puts the patient at the center,” she said. “It helps the medical team listen to patients, and keeps the patient first.”

The program also included an internal panel discussion among faculty members from all four UMKC health science schools to discuss how IPE may be implemented here. The panelists included the following:

  • Stefanie Ellison, M.D., associate dean of curriculum, School of Medicine
  • Jolene Lynn, Ph.D(c), R.N., clinical associate professor and BSN program director, School of Nursing
  • Susan J. Kimble, D.P., R.N., A.N.P.-B.C., clinical associate Professor and MSN and DNP program director, UMKC School of Nursing.
  • Pam Overman, Ed.D., professor and associate dean for academic affairs, School of Dentistry.
  • Jennifer Santee, Pharm.D., clinical associate professor, Division of Pharmacy Practice and Administrations, School of Pharmacy.

This panel reported on the collaboration toward IPE experiences at UMKC. They have been meeting quarterly for the past year and attended the IPEC Institute last year where core competencies for interprofessional education were discussed.

“Through our discussions we found some core competencies we had in common. We have looked at what type of experiences we need to formalize in curriculum,” Ellison said. “We believe we need to focus on both extracurricular events and required curriculum for this to be effective,”

The internal panel also acknowledged this was a large task. In order to make progress, they plan to start small with things the schools were already doing, expand those and persist so they could begin implementing IPE experiences at UMKC.

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