This article details a nurse-led, interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) model that was developed to provide primary care to a medically indigent population in Birmingham, Alabama. Funding to develop and implement this project came from a federal Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention award to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing, with additional support coming from the UAB Hospital and Health System. The clinic is housed within a local community-based, non-profit organization and all services, including supplies and pharmaceuticals, are provided free of charge to this vulnerable population. The IPCP model that was developed includes three primary care teams and incorporates faculty clinicians from a variety of disciplines, including nursing, medicine, optometry, nutrition, mental health, social work and informatics. Evaluation of the project has included annual structured interviews of project personnel, a variety of survey instruments completed electronically at various intervals, and assessments by students as well as patients experiencing team-based care. The focus of this article is the qualitative data collected from structured interviews of clinician faculty annually over the three years of the funded project. The learning, understanding and growth that have taken place by the experienced clinicians from multiple disciplines regarding IPCP are detailed.
Keywords: Interprofessional collaborative practice; Medically underserved; Primary care; Team-based care.
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