Critical Events of Interprofessional Practice and Education (IPE)

Advancing Critical Events of Interprofessional Practice and Education (IPE)

Documenting Critical Events for Success

Since 2014, the National Center has studied the forces and drivers of the impact of IPE on learning, health and systems outcomes to create an IPE Core Data Set and the National Center IPE Information Exchange1.  In studying implementing interprofessional practice and education throughout the United States, the National Center Team has identified common unforeseen occurrences that must be navigated to ensure success in programs. We call these occurrences "critical events". 

1Delaney, C.W., AbuSalah, A., Yeazel, M., Kertz, J.S., Pejsa, L., & Brandt, B.F. (2020). National center for interprofessional practice and education IPE core data set and information exchange for knowledge generation. Journal of Interprofessional Care.

Document Your Milestones Today.
Inform Your Decisions Tomorrow.

The Critical Events of IPE tool can be used to record any experiences or observations you feel could have an impact on IPE, locally, regionally, or globally.  The tool guides the documentation with themes and takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

The tool is free and open access. Reports provide timelines of events, linked to your summary of the events, and prompt submitters to reflect on the event at future dates to understand and interpret the effect on your program’s trajectory.

The University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board (IRB) has reviewed the Critical Events of IPE tool and designated it not human subjects research. This tool is entirely voluntary, and no personally identifiable information will be shared. Each person and site will have access to their own submissions, but will NOT have access to others’ information. The National Center will use the data collected to report on national trends (aggregate) in educators' and practitioners' experiences.


Definition of Critical Event of IPE

A Critical Event of IPE is defined as an unforeseen, unplanned occurrence that causes rethinking the original plan and may require a change in course. Critical events of IPE tend to be enabling or interfering forces that impact Nexus implementation and generally require confronting an unexpected set of circumstances that present ‘forks in the road’. These events often drive decisions about new directions.

A critical event of IPE can be a positive milestone advancing the viability and growth of the program, a negative occurrence that changes and slows progression, or a neutral effect on the program’s trajectory.


Register Today and Begin Submitting Your Critical Events of IPE


The registration process is simple.  Follow the steps below.

I'm new to the National Center Information Exchange

  1. Use the Express Link to access the National Center IPE Information Exchange
  2. Complete the brief registration questions
  3. About You and Your Role:
  • Select Express Registration for IPE Critical Events
  • Enter the full, official name of your institution (i.e. University of New England) and zip code
  • Finalize Registration

I've used the National Center Information Exchange previously

  1. Use the Express Link to access the National Center IPE Information Exchange
  2. Log in using your email address
  3. Select the applicable program from the drop down menu
How will the Critical Events of IPE benefit me?

By documenting Critical Events, a program is able to track complex issues and plans over time and record the changes that occur in a program along the way. The documentation adds to the institutional memory by recording team decision-making and enhances real-time rapid cycle quality improvement.

Specifically, the Critical Events tool enables a program to:

  1. Account for events in real-time
  2. Document important decision points
  3. Reveal possible opportunities
  4. Collect perspectives that enhance team-building
  5. Enhance reporting to internal and external stakeholders
How can I learn more about the Critical Events?

The National Center has an online course, Managing Critical Events for Success, that will be released in June 2021. This online, facilitated course will take a deeper dive into Critical Events, how to build them into ongoing program development, and how they can be utilized to advance program decision-making and reporting.  A link to access the course will be available on this web page.

Tips for Submitting Critical Events of IPE
  • Use Critical Events of IPE to record any experiences or observations that you feel could have an impact on IPE, locally, regionally, or globally.
  • Something is better than nothing, and real-time is better than memory. Try to establish a habit of taking a few minutes to enter brief Critical Events of IPE as they happen.
  • You don’t need to know or understand the full significance of these events now. We are creating a history, and will have time to revisit and reflect in the coming months and years.
  • Consider assigning a colleague who has more time and/or distance from the “front lines” to listen for and record your Critical Events.
  • Marking an event "Resolved" simply means that, in your mind, the event in question is relatively settled, or no longer in flux. You will receive quarterly reminders to update any “Unresolved” events.
  • You will always have access to your completed submissions on the Critical Events of IPE submission page.