Interprofessional Panel Discussion on Improving Healthcare Quality, Safety and Patient-Centeredness

On Thursday, April 10th, the Meharry Vanderbilt Alliance(MVA) hosted an Interprofessional Panel Discussion  at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.  The event, titled Improving Healthcare Quality, Safety, and Patient-Centeredness, provided an opportunity for educators, students, and community stakeholders from various fields to explore the topic of interprofessional education (IPE) with a panel of national and local experts.  The panel was comprised of five professionals from various disciplines, including medicine, nursing, social work, and medical education*.  The panelists’ diverse backgrounds and experiences allowed for an engaging discussion that assessed interprofessional education from several different perspectives.

Dr. Karyn Baum, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, shed light on how interprofessionalism can not only improve the safety and quality of patient care, but also decrease overutilization of medical services and clinical tests.  Chad Gentry, a Doctor of Pharmacy and Assistant Professor at Lipscomb University, also addressed the audience from a practice-based perspective. Dr. Gentry highlighted the benefits of interprofessional collaboration in the clinical setting and shared his experiences as a member of a primary care team.  Dr. Bridget O’Brien, an Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. Rebecca Moore, an Associate Professor and Field Educator at Tennessee State University’s Master of Social Work program, both described the barriers and benefits of implementing interprofessional education in student curricula. Dr. Moore spoke of her role in designing the Vanderbilt Program for Interprofessional Learning, and Dr. O’Brien told the audience about her responsibilities in implementing an interprofessional initiative at the San Francisco, VA Hospital. Kathy Chappell, who holds a Doctorate of Nursing and is currently a Director of Accreditation, explained how interprofessional education is assessed and evaluated from intra-institutional, inter-institutional, and national standards.

Additionally, the panel discussed how interprofessional education effects professional identity, patient-provider relationships, and professional misconceptions of bother health practitioners. The event concluded with a series of thought provoking questions from the audience.  Audience members inquired about interprofessional competencies, value-based care, and how to proceed when interprofessionalism is not modeled, or taught, in a student’s academic or clinical setting.

The Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance hopes to host similar events showcasing interprofessional education in the near future. If you would like be a member of the MVA IPE listserv, or desire any other information, please send a request.