Looking ahead: what you can expect from the National Center this year

With the start of a new year, I’ve been both reflecting on what the National Center has accomplished and looking toward the future. I want to invite you to review the update I recently published in the Journal of Interprofessional Care, where I shared our thinking about the need for a new Nexus of practice and education, our focus on large-scale systems transformation, the center’s research agenda, and an invitation to help us achieve our vision.

That update began to preview the National Center’s agenda for the coming months, years and beyond. I’m excited about where we’re headed, and I want to reiterate that I look forward to working with all of you—clinicians, educators, students, leaders, patients, families and communities—to move forward. Here is what you can expect from the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education in the near future.

Earlier this week, we released a new collection of measurement instruments for interprofessional practice and education (IPE) research, via our Resource Exchange. These are practical assessment tools, most of which are readily accessible through our website so you can start using them today.   To optimize these resources for your use, we need your additions and feedback to continue to improve this curated collection.

We have been engaging the authors and developers of these tools.  As we state, we are confident that we have not located or reviewed all tools that are available.  We are already receiving additional instruments to be considered in the collection.  In the coming weeks, our evaluation team, Dr. Jean King and Michelle Gensinger, will host a series of in-depth explorations of a select group of these tools through author interviews, webinars and discussion forums. 

Our team also recently completed an extensive systematic review of recent interprofessional literature, which resulted in a categorized, searchable database of more than 500 articles. We have a manuscript out for peer review.  The database will be available on our website in the coming weeks; watch your email for an announcement.

The Nexus Innovations Incubator members—our applied testing sites across the country—are coming online. Our team has been hard at work developing the National Center Data Repository so that performance sites may begin populating both a standard core data set and site-specific project data. As we gain more experience and standardize the processes, we will be engaging additional sites to learn together.  Learn more about the Nexus Innovations Incubator projects and watch for updates from these innovative leaders as data collection begins in earnest.  We will be engaging you around these conversations.

While data and evidence are critical, we know that high quality, interprofessional, team-based care is happening right now, all over the country. A key role of the National Center is to shine light on that work so that we can all learn from the best. The center is identifying exemplary sites and, in the coming months, will feature case studies about innovative health systems and academic-practice partnerships.

Our goal is to work with stakeholders to make the center’s Resource Exchange  a community-led source for interprofessional information, including meeting abstracts, reports, assessment tools and more. I will soon charge an expert panel to create a Scholarly Trust within the Resource Exchange—a sub-section of peer-reviewed materials which will be clearly designated as such on the website.

Our online community is growing steadily; new members join every day. We’re creating new opportunities for connecting the community through discussion forums and learning opportunities like book clubs and webinars. Create a profile today to connect with colleagues throughout the year.

Most importantly, we’re joining our efforts with the people and organizations already doing excellent work in the areas of health care improvement and interprofessional education. At the National Center, we see ourselves as connectors and conveners, and we hope you’ll join us as we work to align practice and education for better care, lower costs and better health.

I thoroughly enjoy visiting you and learning first-hand about the good work in interprofessional education and collaborative practice.  I look forward to sharing your good work.