The Application of Informatics in Delineating the Proof of Concept for Creating Knowledge of the Value Added by Interprofessional Practice and Education
The resurgence of interest in the promise of interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP) to positively impact health outcomes, requires the collection of appropriate data that can be analyzed and from which information and knowledge linking IPECP interventions to improved health outcomes might be produced and reported to stakeholders such as health systems, policy makers and regulators, payers, and accreditation agencies. To generate such knowledge the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Minnesota has developed three strategies, the first two of which are: (1) creating an IPECP research agenda, and (2) a national Nexus Innovation Network (NIN) of intervention projects that are generating data that are being input and housed in a National Center Data Repository (NCDR). In this paper, the informatics platform supporting the work of these first two strategies is presented as the third interconnected strategy for knowledge generation. The proof of concept for the informatics strategy is developed in this paper by describing: data input from the NIN into the NCDR, the linking and merging of those data to produce analyzable data files that incorporate institutional and individual level data, and the production of meaningful analyses to create and provide relevant information and knowledge. This paper is organized around the concepts of data, information and knowledge—the three conceptual foundations of informatics.