The team approach

The team approach

UF part of consortium developing interprofessional education training tools

By Sierra Mision

In collaboration with four other Southeastern universities, UF has received a grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation to develop an online training program in multispecialty teamwork for future health care professionals.

The project, which began in July, will result in the development of eight case-based, interactive e-Learning modules to be used by more than 5,000 medical, nursing, pharmacy and other health professions students during their clinical training.

“The goal of the modules will be for students to learn about the roles and responsibilities of other health professionals, to gain the skills and competencies that allow them to work effectively as part of a health care team and to use these skills to work collaboratively to identify problems with health care quality or safety,” said Richard Davidson, M.D., M.P.H., UF associate vice president for health affairs for interprofessional education and a professor of medicine and epidemiology in the UF College of Medicine.

Known as interprofessional education, this type of multispecialty teamwork training is crucial for future health care professionals, who must increasingly collaborate with providers from a wide variety of specialties and disciplines in their practices.

“While we have been providing interprofessional education for more than 12 years, in August 2009, the University of Florida Health Science Center identified interprofessional education as a key component of its strategic plan,” said Erik Black, an assistant professor of pediatrics and member of the steering committee for the grant. “Our office of interprofessional education was organized under the direction of Dr. Davidson. This project complements our Health Science Center endeavors by establishing what is essentially a laboratory for interprofessional learning, research and practice.”

The eight modules will be able to stand alone or be part of one of two types of curricula. Each type will consist of four e-Learning modules and instructor-led discussion, opportunities for application of newly acquired skills in the clinical setting and participation in collaborative group projects.

The Medical University of South Carolina, the University of Kentucky, the University of Mississippi and Vanderbilt University have joined UF to form the Southeast Consortium for Interprofessional Education to support this project and other interprofessional education efforts.

After the consortium evaluates the success of each curriculum, it will then make the modules available for other institutions.