From professional silos to interprofessional education: campuswide focus on quality of care

Qual Manag Health Care. 2009 Jul-Sep;18(3):165-73. doi: 10.1097/QMH.0b013e3181aea20d.


Objectives: The Institute of Medicine called for the integration of interprofessional education (IPE) into health professions curricula, in order to improve health care quality. In response, we developed, implemented, and evaluated a campus wide IPE program, shifting from traditional educational silos to greater collaboration.

Methods: Students (155) and faculty (30) from 6 academic programs (nursing, medicine, public health, allied health, dentistry, and pharmacy) engaged with a university hospital partner to deliver this program. The content addressed principles of IPE, teamwork development and 2 common quality care problems: hospital-acquired infections and communication errors. Pre-/post-surveys, the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale, and the Interprofessional Education Perception Scale, were used for descriptive assessment of student learning.

Results: Students demonstrated increased understanding of health care quality and interprofessional teamwork principles and reported positive attitudes toward shared learning. While responses to the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale grew more positive after the program, scores on the Interprofessional Education Perception Scale were more homogeneous. Both students and faculty highly evaluated the experience.

Conclusion: This program was a first step in preparing individuals for collaborative learning, fostering awareness and enthusiasm for IPE among students and faculty, and demonstrating the feasibility of overcoming common barriers to IPE such as schedule coordination and faculty buy-in.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Program Development
  • Quality of Health Care*