The United States National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education: Integrating an informatics approach to interprofessional work
The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, a United States public–private partnership, was formed to provide national leadership, scholarship, evidence, and coordination to advance interprofessional education (IPE) and practice. Many external drivers led to the creation of the partnership that culminated in the National Center: patient safety initiatives, the need for care coordination and transitions efforts, quality improvement imperatives, calls for teamwork and workforce optimization, newly defined national core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice, practice redesign, escalating health care costs, and state and federal policies. The National Center principals who have served in a variety of senior leadership roles—a clinician, educationalist, and informaticist—recognized the opportunity to leverage the potential that informatics could bring not only to the center but also to the field of IPECP. An informatics approach focuses on collaborative processes and works to address information processing, communications, and data collection. To do so, the National Center created multiple platforms: informatics education, a resource exchange, communication strategy, incubator network, national data repository, and learning system.