Video Resource Explores Patient Voices on Interprofessional Health Care Teams

The two new short videos can be used to prompt IPE group discussion and/or individual reflections.

When Adam Lepley, PhD, ATC, wanted to initiate a thoughtful discussion about teamwork with the students in his AT 375 course (Pathophysiology for Allied Health Professionals) at U-M School of Kinesiology this fall, he didn’t have to look far for resources. That’s because he had recently completed more than a year of shared development work on two high-quality video simulations that model effective communication in an interprofessional health care team.

“I decided to use this resource when we were going over the pathophysiology of a variety of diseases,” said Lepley, who is the clinical education coordinator of U-M’s Athletic Training Program and director of the Michigan Performance Research Laboratory. “The majority of my class is athletic training students, so I used the videos to show them an example of an interprofessional environment and opportunity for communication between health care professionals even when the pathology is outside our normal scope of practice (i.e. musculoskeletal diseases).”

The videos are one of the final interprofessional education (IPE) team projects from the Michigan Center for IPE’s 18-month Interprofessional Leadership Fellows program (cohort 5). Lepley created them with fellow U-M team members Susan Radzilowski, MSW, LMSW, and Shane Spaulding, LRT, RRT. Additional contributions came from University of Toronto Centre for IPE faculty Lynne Sinclair, PT, MA, BScPT, and Dean Lising, PT, MHSc, BScPT, BSc, as well as a few colleagues from each side of the border who stepped to represent health professionals, a patient, and a family member (the latter two from the U-M Office of Patient Experience). The two videos are linked here: “Virtual Collaborative Team Meeting” and “Virtual Family Conference.”

Among the main points the video’s creators made when they presented their work at the NEXUS Summit conference in fall 2021 are:

  • Explicitly including the patient’s and caregiver’s voice as members of the interprofessional (IP) team should be a core component of further IPE learning and competency development.
  • Evidence demonstrates a correlation between effective professional-patient communication and improved patient health outcomes.
  • This suggests that optimal care can be provided by including the patient, and caregiver (when involved/with patient consent) as part of an interprofessional team.

The team demonstrated how effective interprofessional communication can be achieved in virtual settings, for both group discussion and individual reflections. Meanwhile, the same resources can be used in an in-person classroom setting (such as Adam Lepley’s athletic training pathophysiology course). A possible universal prompt suggested by the University of Toronto IPE consultants is: “How does the team communicate in the virtual environment to effectively partner with the patient/caregiver?”

“We are thrilled with the outcome of this cross-border collaboration and look forward to using these clips in our teaching as well,” said Dean Lising of the University of Toronto Centre for Interprofessional Education.