[Interprofessional education for patient-centred practice: development of outcome-focused competencies for a Bachelor Programme Interprofessional Health Care]

Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 2012;106(7):523-32. doi: 10.1016/j.zefq.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 May 9.
[Article in German]


Objectives: Health care systems in Germany and around the world are faced with demographic change and the need of providing health services in increasingly complex health care surroundings. A highly qualified workforce is needed to face the challenges ahead and to coordinate health care. In addition, there is evidence that interprofessional education strengthens interprofessional collaboration which can lead to improved health outcomes. The University of Heidelberg, Medical Faculty, decided to develop a bachelor programme integrating specific health professions and interprofessional qualifications into the curriculum. The manuscript describes the identification process of the outcome-focused competencies for this bachelor degree.

Methods: The six-step curriculum model by Kern et al. was applied. An expert panel identified major tasks and health care fields for which the students should be qualified for. These results were transferred into a questionnaire and distributed among targeted learners as well as practitioners, experts and employers in different health care fields for relevance ratings. Also, individuals were interviewed to receive additional information and to generate further ideas.

Results: Thirteen different practice fields, five tasks and thirteen topics common to all health care professions were collected. The subsequent survey comprising 66 items was completed by 139 targeted learners as well as 82 practitioners and experts. All identified practice fields were rated as relevant for future professional life. Top ratings were "supervising procedures" (targeted learners) and "interprofessional communication and coordination" (practitioners, experts and employers). The results were discussed and consented in the expert panel and learner outcomes/objectives were categorized according to the CanMED roles.

Discussion: A thorough needs assessment was performed setting the foundation for the further development of the curriculum. The identified competencies are in line with the five core competencies defined by the WHO which are necessary for interprofessional collaboration: patient-centred care, partnering, quality improvement, information and communication technology, and public health perspective. The application of the CanMED framework proved to be suitable. It may be used as common terminology to help define interfaces with curricula of other health professions. The interprofessional development of the bachelor programme fostered a deeper understanding between health professionals and can therefore be regarded as a first step in improving interprofessional collaboration.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Curriculum
  • Germany
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Models, Educational
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient-Centered Care*