Health care: Now a team sport

October 31, 2014

OHSU IPE session

Team-based care is widely becoming the new standard for patient-centered, high-quality, cost-effective health services. The OHSU Interprofessional Initiative is designed to help education programs across the institution produce health care professionals who can participate in and lead a transformed delivery system – in Oregon and across the nation.

Collaborative practice is a product of design. Since its launch in 2012, interprofessional education (IPE) at OHSU has brought together more than 600 future nurses, physicians, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists, research scientists and others to learn "from, with, and about" each other. The goal: A safer and more effective patient-centered and community-oriented health care system.

OHSU students in an IPE sessionStudents in OHSU's IPE curriculum, based on the OHSU core competencies for all graduates, together explore courses in pain management, anatomy, diabetes, narrative and healing, global health and more. IPE leaders and administrators are actively expanding the clinical environments where learners can participate in patient-centered care by including team-based care models at OHSU and throughout the state in the curriculum.

In August, first-year students from the OHSU Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing participated in an IPE session about professionalism and shared commitments. The panelists – an OHSU patient, his wife and the interprofessional team that cared for him – received a standing ovation. Past feedback from IPE participants elicited similar positive feedback:

"I learned to see things from my peers' points of view, which was surprisingly different from my own." – OHSU medical student

"It is so important for us to break down these culturally enforced concepts of power and rank. By getting to know one another from the start of our professional education, we have the opportunity to truly shape the future of health care." – OHSU nursing student

Just as learners benefit from collaboration, OHSU benefits from learning about and sharing outcomes with institutions across the country. OHSU is the only West Coast site to be designated an Innovation Incubator of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (Nexus). The Nexus network is a "test laboratory" for models and approaches to interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP). OHSU has three distinct incubator projects:

  1. Assessing and Enhancing Clinical Education Sites for IPECP
  2. EHR Design and User Training to Enhance Collaborative Care and Patient Outcomes
  3. Interprofessional Care Access Network (I-CAN)

Get involved! School of Medicine faculty and alumni are invited to participate in IPE, including serving as small group facilitators in the "Foundations of Patient Safety and Interprofessional Practice" course that spans the 2014-15 academic year. For additional information, contact