A Case-based Interprofessional Education Forum Improves Students' Perspectives on the Need for Collaboration, Teamwork, and Communication
Interprofessional education (IPE) focusing on patient centered care is an emerging trend in health care education. With the goal of facilitating interprofessional teamwork and collaboration, an IPE forum was implemented following the keys to success outlined by Buring et al, and the impact of the IPE experience on health science students was examined using the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) and the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS). The exercise was a single IPE forum in which students representing five health disciplines were divided into interdisciplinary groups of 8-12 students to discuss roles, team goals, and outcomes for a video-based case study. The video case was from the international clinical educators Stroke Help video series, and was representative of a patient in an intensive care unit with an acute neurological injury. Faculty from all professions circulated throughout the room and facilitated discussion during the forum. This experience was followed with a faculty panel question and answer period. The entire IPE forum exercise takes approximately 4 hours to complete. At our university dietetic, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology students have participated in the forum. All professions demonstrated a significant increase in RIPLS and IEPS scores after the completion of the IPE forum indicating improvements in their readiness, knowledge, and perceptions of working as a team. This case would also be relevant to other disciplines that would be involved in the care of patients with neurological injury.