The Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE) defines this as learning that “occurs when two or more professions learn with, from and about each other to improve collaboration and the quality of care.” (CAIPE, 2012).
According to CAIPE, effective interprofessional education (IPE) encourages professionals to learn from each other, respecting each other’s contributions, involving service users and carers to focus on their needs and improve the quality of care, thus enhancing personal satisfaction and professional practice e.g. A multidisciplinary team (MDT) of healthcare professionals with expertise in a particular clinical area or health condition planning care for a patient.
Although teaching-learning methods used for health professional education apply to IPE, it has been suggested that four small group teaching methods lend themselves particularly well to IPE. These are: case-based learning, simulation, shadowing and clinical work in interprofessional teams.
For postgraduate learners, there is some evidence to suggest that IPE embedded in quality improvement initiatives can improve the quality of care through improved teamwork, or more patient-centred communication.
The World Health Organization framework for action on IPE and collaborative practice highlights the potential for successful interprofessional collaboration and teamwork in improving health outcomes within any local health system, through embedding IPE in health professional education (see figure above).
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