Integrating informatics and interprofessional education and practice to drive healthcare transformation
Over the past two decades, there have been numerous calls worldwide for healthcare transformation and systems reform in order to meet objectives, such as the provision of collaborative, safe, patient centered care (Health Council of Canada, 2013; IOM 2012). One bold initiative to address these objectives emphasized the key function of evidenced-based/evidence-supported care, team-based care and the essential infrastructure of informatics in supporting knowledge discovery and dissemination to foster health system transformation. Committed to objective assessment and strategy development of the United States (U.S.), the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published the seminal piece The Learning Healthcare System which outlined four key characteristics of the learning healthcare system. These essential characteristics include the following: (a) science and informatics for real-time access to knowledge and digital capture of the care experience, (b) patient–clinician partnerships with engaged, empowered patients, (c) incentives aligned for value and full transparency, and (d) a leadership-instilled culture of learning and supportive system competencies (IOM, 2006; IOM, 2012). In this editorial, we discuss the need for integration between informatics and interprofessional practice and interprofessional education (IPP/IPE) as a lead in to a themed issue on the topic. We also introduce a series of papers that comprise this themed issue.