Informal continuing interprofessional education (CIPE) can be traced back decades in the United States; however, interest in formal CIPE is recent. Interprofessional education (IPE) now is recognized as an important component of new approaches to continuing education (CE) that are needed to increase health professionals' ability to improve outcomes of care. Although there are examples of CIPE programs that are being successfully implemented, a clearly articulated, step-by-step planning process to help guide educators in providing effective CIPE programs is lacking. This lack of guidance poses a significant barrier to increasing the number of CIPE programs in the United States. In this article, we describe a process for developing, implementing, and evaluating CIPE programs using the familiar systematic CE planning process. Limitations of traditional CE also are addressed, and the relationship between CIPE and other new approaches to CE is clarified. Four examples of CIPE programs are provided to illustrate how the planning process can be adapted to include IPE, while implementing recommended changes in traditional CE offerings. The article is concluded with a discussion of some of the challenges that will face CE educators in moving toward a new vision of CE integrated with IPE.
Copyright © 2013 The Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions, the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education, and the Council on CME, Association for Hospital Medical Education.