Update on 2020 Foundational Experiences for IPE

Unchanged by COVID except there’s a new, innovative opportunity…

In this fall 2020 semester like no other, online learning dominates higher education in general, as well as health professions education. So giving students platforms for meaningful connections outside their siloes takes on even more importance. The Michigan Center for Interprofessional Education (IPE) and its faculty leaders are building off years of growing expertise in virtual interprofessional learning–having already innovated and advanced courses that bridge issues of time and space. Two consecutive foundational programs boost participants’ attitudes around collaborative practice and lay the groundwork to build skill sets to work in teams, with the goal of transforming the future of collaborative care and ultimately patient outcomes and population health. This year, though, there’s a new pilot longitudinal experience merging the concepts of interprofessional practice, teamwork, and social determinants of health. Here’s more about these three IPE foundational experiences:

Intro to Interprofessional Education Module:

Now in its 8th semester, the successful Fall 2020 iteration of the online Introduction to IPE module includes over 1100 U-M health science student participants (up from 564 students in the first year). The module helps students understand the current health care landscape via perspectives of real patients, families, and practitioners. It shows how interprofessional education directly relates to the “quadruple aim” of health care: improved patient experience, improved population health, increased workforce satisfaction, and reduced cost of care. 

This module’s content benefits learners early in their health science programs and facilitates their understanding of diverse roles. It is a program requirement for a majority of the U-M health sciences schools. 

teamsTeams & Teamwork:

This module follows the Intro to IPE, and its enrollment is 630 students for Fall 2020. It was developed by a team of Interprofessional Leadership Fellows, and some of the original faculty continue to work on it now that it has become a bigger part of U-M’s IPE curriculum. The primary purpose of the module is to instill knowledge about effective teamwork and have students develop teamwork skills, which students can apply to work with peers and in interprofessional practice settings. Module objectives include:

  • Describe the roles and practices of effective teams
  • Engage self and others to understand disagreements about values, roles, and actions that arise among health and other professionals
  • Reflect on team performance individually and as a team

Longitudinal Interprofessional Family-based Experience (LIFE): 

This new patient-care-focused longitudinal experience is a 2020 evolution of the successful IPE in Action large-scale learning events previously held at Crisler Center in 2018 and 2019. Faculty on the IPE Curriculum Committee and its 101 Taskforce workgroup have repeatedly evaluated student performance and attitudes from those events, which led to the development of the new LIFE offering to meet the advancing needs of the U-M health science schools. The pivot to a smaller, longitudinal program focused on team development and patient/team relationships is a direct response to student feedback over the past few years. More details on this program are coming soon. 

“Together, our foundational experiences represent U-M’s visionary approach to IPE and the importance of team-based care,” said Frank Ascione, director of the Michigan Center for IPE. “As our health science schools recruit students, they are emphasizing the growing interprofessional elements of a Michigan education. IPE foundational experiences are widely embedded in the curricula of U-M professional schools, and subsequent split-offs will be available as new modules continue to develop. Each school is able to decide which foundational options are best for their students.”