Defining the Field

As the field of interprofessional practice and education (IPE) rapidly emerges, the use of a shared language is crucial to success. The National Center has adopted the following terms and definitions as a way to describe IPE and our work. 

InformingDefining the Field
 
The Nexus

A means of connecting health professions education, specifically interprofessional education, and transforming health care practice – creating a true partnership and shared responsibility, conversation, language and learning. In the Nexus, clinical practices in transforming health systems that partner with health professions education programs think and act differently, serving as learning organizations that support continuous professional development while educating the next generation of health professionals. 


Interprofessional education (IPE)

As defined by the World Health Organization, “occurs when two or more professions (students, residents and health workers) learn with, about, and from each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.”1


Interprofessional (or collaborative) care/practice

As defined by the World Health Organization, “occurs when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds provide comprehensive health services by working with patients, their families, carers (caregivers), and communities to deliver the highest quality of care across settings.”1


Interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP)

Within a Nexus, interprofessional education (IPE) and collaborative practice (CP) are truly integrated.


Triple Aim2

A framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that “describes an approach to optimizing health system performance” by improving the patient experience of care, improving population health and reducing the cost of care. The National Center is studying whether a Nexus can positively contribute to the Triple Aim.


1 Adapted from: The Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education, UK, 1987 World Health Organization (WHO). (2010). Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice,. Retrieved from, http://www.who.int/hrh/resources/framework_action/en/

2 The Triple Aim was developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Massachusetts (www.ihi.org).