Connecting Discussion General discussion Discussion Around the Institute of Medicine Consensus Report
The views and opinions expressed in this forum are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, the University of Minnesota or any of our funding partners.
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A growing body of work has shown that interprofessional practice and education (IPE) can improve learners’ perceptions of interprofessional practice (IPP) and enhance collaborative knowledge and skills. In contrast, establishing a direct cause-and-effect relationship between IPE and patient, population and system outcomes has proven more difficult – not unlike other health professional educational interventions.

This was the task of the recent IOM consensus study committee charged with analyzing the available data and information from around the world to determine the best methods for measuring the impact of IPE on such issues as patient safety, provider and patient satisfaction, quality of care, community health outcomes and cost savings. Their findings are detailed in an April 2015 report.

In this recorded presentation, the chair of the consensus committee, Malcolm Cox, MD, outlined key findings from the report and discussed actions that interprofessional stakeholders can take to better measure the impact of IPE on intermediate and distal outcomes.  

Dr. Cox, and other study committee members, will use this forum to respond to questions about the report and to engage in additional dialogue about its findings and recommendations. 

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Do you have any recommendations of evidence based tools to measure the effectiveness of outpatient IPE Clinics that you could share? 

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Thank you for sharing the presentation - are the slides posted anywhere - I see the need for a framework to study outcomes of IPE  - is there any concensus on one or two conceptual/theoretical frameworks that are being used most frequently?  

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Hi Georgia, 

A PDF of the slide deck can be found here.


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Thank you to the IOM for embracing the need for this work growing out of the Health Professions Education Forum and to the Consensus Committee members, including international members and consultants, for your work, for an outstanding report, and for an excellent recorded seminar by the Chair of the Committee. You have captured so succinctly in the model you developed what we know and don't know in this field. More, good, research has been an imperative for decades and you have pointed the way to where we, collectively, need to go, nationally and internationally. Congratulations.

I would like to see more international comments on this report in this electronic exchange.

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When thinking about effectiveness we need to consider what 'effective' looks like in any particular context. For most education in the health professions effectiveness is about whether learners learn rather than patient outcomes because of the complexity of showing direct causation in the midst of multiple confounding factors.  I presume an outpatient IPE clinic is one where interprofessional learning is in place.  It might be possible to look at the outcomes of IPE in terms of changes in performance and patient satisfaction in relation to qualified staff who are in the clinics everyday but health professional students tend to be in clinics for short times only so measurement is more difficult.  I think we also need to look at the type of learning, who learns what and why, and facilitators and barriers so qualitative approaches, including ethnography, are likely to provide richer data than measurement tools in this case.  In particular self-reported change has flaws.