Health care improvement and continuing interprofessional education: continuing interprofessional development to improve patient outcomes

J Contin Educ Health Prof. Spring 2009;29(2):84-90. doi: 10.1002/chp.20016.


Health care improvement and continuing professional education must be better understood if we are to promote continuous service improvement through interprofessional learning in the workplace. We propose that situating interprofessional working, interprofessional learning, work-based learning, and service improvement within a framework of social learning theory creates a continuum between work-based interprofessional learning and service improvement in which each is integral to the other. This continuum provides a framework for continuing interprofessional development that enables service improvement in the workplace to serve as a vehicle through which individual professionals and teams can continually enhance patient care through working and learning together. The root of this lies in understanding that undertaking improvement and learning about improvement are co-dependent and that health care professionals must recognize their responsibility to improve as well as complete their everyday work. We believe that significant opportunities exist for health care commissioners, service providers, and educational institutions to work together to promote continuing interprofessional development in the workplace to enhance patient outcomes, and we outline some of the opportunities we believe exist.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Total Quality Management / organization & administration