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Abstract

Several expert panels have recommended interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) as an integral part of improving the quality and safety of care delivery to meet the complex health needs of patients. IPCP is attained by collaborative communications between two or more health professionals from various disciplines who share in clinical decisionmaking. IPCP increases patient satisfaction and improves health outcomes, yet few health professional students learn how to work within collaborative interprofessional teams. The health professional programs at one Midwestern University implemented Interprofessional Education (IPE) programs with the goal of facilitating IPCP team work and to foster effective communications among the health professional students. The successes that resulted were positive comments from students, faculty, and clinical staff and increased student confidence in interactions with other disciplines. The challenges that were encountered include scheduling difficulties, apathy of faculty and students, and incompatible clinical practice experiences. Understanding challenges and negotiating ambiguity of implementing IPE/ IPCP community-based programs is important in developing a well-trained interprofessional workforce and closing the gap between health professionals’ education and clinical practice experiences.

Publication Date

11-9-2015

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