New IPE Pilot for Pharmacy and Medical Student Inpatient Pre-Rounds

An example of how U-M teams work to improve experiential learning to meet evolving needs.

University of Michigan College of Pharmacy Professor Jamie Park is helping U-M make important inroads into interprofessional education in the experiential setting. She has a new “Interprofessional Team Pre-Rounds Pilot” that she recently presented to the U-M Center for IPE Curriculum Committee and its Experiential Workgroup, which she chairs. Both groups were enthusiastic about her success in a clinical learning collaboration between pharmacy and medical students in the U-M hospital unit where she is a clinical transplant pharmacist. It affirms that expanding interprofessional knowledge and experience is needed for functional teams to deal with fast-evolving challenges in health care. “All hands on deck” works best when the hands are best able to work together.

For years Park has noticed that students often overlap for their inpatient rotations and interact on service, but there has not been any intentional IPE. So, she decided to change that. Park designed her new pilot project to complement uniprofessional transplant inpatient acute care rotations of second-year MD students and fourth-year PharmD students. She structured intentional interactions between interprofessional learners to increase the opportunity for medical and pharmacy students to learn about, from, and with each other. The participating students would do pre-rounds together, and would co-create an interprofessional team plan to present at team rounds. They were provided with structure to facilitate the interprofessional pre-rounds and presentations.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Effectively integrate the roles, knowledge, and skills of various team members into formulating, implementing, and evaluating the patient care plan [roles/responsibilities].
  2. Demonstrates active listening and is respectful of different perspectives and opinions of other team members including patients/caregivers (interprofessional communication).
  3. Engages actively and respectfully in shared patient-centered problem-solving (team/teamwork).

Halfway through the 5-week running of Park’s pilot in fall 2020, it was affected by the pandemic-driven switch from in-person to virtual clinical rotations. Nonetheless, she received positive feedback from the learners and the team physicians indicating overall quality of the patient care plan improved because of interprofessional team pre-rounds. Comments from student participants include:

  • “It was very helpful to discuss patient care with another healthcare professional with a different perspective. Medication and pharmacology is not a strong suit of mine, so it was particularly helpful to get the expertise of my pharmacy colleagues.”
  • “From this experience, I think I would feel more comfortable approaching other professions, especially with questions. I think that experiences like this are also helpful in advancing pharmacy.”
  • “I will now feel more comfortable asking questions to members of the team that are in different specialties–and seeing value in the differences in our training.”

In addition to the positive anecdotal feedback, Park’s assessments indicated that students felt their skills improved in several IPE domains, with the greatest improvement being in teams and teamwork. The sample size was small, but she is optimistic that this result will be replicated as she continues this effort.

Park has identified areas for future consideration regarding interprofessional pre-rounds, as well as the “green light” to continue this effort within her setting. She has also been notified that a physician colleague in pediatric medicine wants to adapt her pilot for use in spring 2021. As her fellow interprofessional faculty champions congratulated Park on creation and completion of the pilot, they also celebrated its potential to be scalable and sustainable, as another collaborative resource for unprecedented current challenges in health care education and delivery.