Organizational structure and resources of IPE programs in the United States: A national survey
Interprofessional education (IPE) initiatives are growing due to the Interprofessional Education Collaborative's core competencies being incorporated into health professions educations programs' accreditation criteria. This investigation examined organizational models and structures of US IPE programs using mixed methodology of quantitative survey and qualitative analysis. Responses (61% response rate from the 131 institutions surveyed) were examined to identify relationships between IPE program organizational factors. Despite marked heterogeneity in most aspects of IPE program infrastructure including administrative structure, financing, and role of the academic health center (AHC), several key relationships emerged. A centralized administrative structure was most common and was associated with dedicated resources. The majority of programs were in AHCs and this was associated with financial structure, annual budget size, program maturity, number of students participating, and references to IPE in promotion and tenure guidelines. IPE learning experiences occurred predominantly in academic settings, identifying a critical need for development of clinical IPE learning experiences. Clinical IPE learning experiences were generally not in mainstream healthcare delivery systems but filled gaps or complemented healthcare efforts for underserved populations. Qualitative analysis results supported the survey results. Continued research in IPE organizational structures is needed to determine external and internal drivers associated with program success and continued trends in the IPE field.
The full publication can be found in the Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice.
National Center Founding Director Dr. Barbara Brandt's editorial discussing the findings of this survey can be accessed here.