Organization Models of Interprofessional Practice and Education in the United States
In 2019, the American Interprofessional Health Collaborative (AIHC) and the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (National Center) charged the Interprofessional Education Organizational Models Task Force to study the organizational models and structures of US IPE programs using a mixed methodology of quantitative survey and qualitative analysis.
In 2022, a new task force was created and version 2.0 of the Organizational Models Survey was developed and sent to 317 recipients. The National Center provides the leadership, evidence and resources needed to guide the nation on the use of IPE and collaborative practice. AIHC is the professional community of the National Center committed to promoting IPE scholarship.
Completed surveys of 101 respondents (32% response rate) allowed the task force to identify critical relationships and characteristics of interprofessional practice and education organizational models throughout the United States. Quantitative results included information such as demographics, IPE structure, campus and financing, and leadership. Qualitative analysis identified 12 emergent themes including organizational structure, reporting lines and accountability, finances and budget, and centralized IPE leadership.
Similar to the 2019 report, major themes from the qualitative analysis, including personnel resources and faculty participation, presence and implementation of IPE curricula, and reporting lines and accountability, noted a marked heterogeneity and variability among universities. Variability was also present in the overall perceived level of institutional support and student participation in intentional interprofessional clinical learning experiences.
While IPE programs are becoming organized, the abundant variability is likely due to factors such as local context and setting, stated institutional missions and strategic plans, and the extent of operational resources for IPE. Further, a gap continues to exist between stated institutional missions/strategic plans and the extent of centralized operational resources for IPE as well as perceived overall institutional support. Limitations to the generalizability of the data to centers focusing on health professions students’ interprofessional education include sample size and inclusion of respondents from non-academic health centers.