International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleWhat is the place of interprofessional education in supporting the continuum of care for patients?
Type of ArticleIdeas and Influences
Author/sAnnette Solman
ReferenceVolume 6, Issue 1, Article 14
Date of PublicationMay 2016
Keywordsintegrated care, interprofessional education, interprofessional learning, person-centred practice

Advances in science and technology mean more people are living longer, resulting in multimorbidity and increasingly complex presentations later in life. People require healthcare that may include hospital admission, community-based care, social care and private healthcare input to support integrated person-centred healthcare. The aim of integrated care is to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes, so interprofessional education is on today’s health agenda and research is required to establish how best to structure it in the undergraduate setting and for the existing workforce that provides healthcare and supportive services.

Interprofessional education occurs when healthcare professionals from two or more disciplines learn about, from and with each other to promote effective collaboration and improve health outcomes (World Health Organization, 2010). The WHO has issued a call to action for undergraduate studies to include interprofessional learning, and to create a suitable workforce, a two-pronged approach is required. First, the inclusion of selected shared-subject learning across undergraduate education programmes, for example in communication and social sciences, and second, a focus on what the existing healthcare workforce requires to be able to work and learn in an interprofessional way across government and non-government agencies to achieve the best outcomes. The development of existing staff requires educational material and experiences that reflect their everyday practice and patient journeys. Such an approach will enable the building of links between the different agencies that support healthcare, and the creation of patient-centred healthcare systems within and across traditional healthcare boundaries.

This article by Annette Solman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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