Patient Safety: An Interprofessional Education Approach
Dello Stritto, Rita Ann
Landrum, Peggy A.
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Session presented on Saturday, July 23, 2016: Purpose: This presentation will discuss the use of Interprofessional Education learning activities as an excellent framework for teaching, learning and discussing teamwork and communication among professions, including its relevance to patient safety. Methods: Students from three independent universities and disciplines (College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, and College of Medicine) were brought together to participate in a case study educational opportunity addressing patient safety. Prior to the presentation of the case study, students were divided into small groups; each consisted of at least three nursing students, three pharmacy students, and three medical students. A faculty facilitator from one of the three disciplines worked with each group. Three Faculty Leaders, one from each discipline, presented portions of the case study scenario that was unique to their own individual discipline. The case scenario was presented in four distinct parts. After each part, the students' discussed in their small groups their preliminary assessment impressions, actions that should be taken, and possible consequences resulting from inaction. After the small group discussion, the questions were discussed in the large group. Each small group had the opportunity to discuss their perspective of the scenario, including appropriate interventions. At the conclusion of the 90 minute educational activity, the students were asked to complete a 7-Point Likert Scale questionnaire. They were asked to rate their pre and post session awareness of each discipline's role and responsibilities, identify communication errors, and suggest strategies for addressing interdisciplinary conflicts. They were also asked open ended questions about each discipline's unique contribution to the team. Results: Each discipline reported a more clear understanding of the roles of other disciplines in addressing safe and effective care of the patient. When asked to describe ways that communication between disciplines could adversely affect the patient care, the medical students identified physicians being dismissive of nursing concerns or being too busy. Nursing students commented that nurses should ask more questions from the patient to gain a better understanding of the patient's history. Pharmacy students noted that it was extremely important that the patient's medications were reconciled and that everyone was aware of the patient's prescribed and over the counter medications. The students consistently felt that this experience was useful in understanding what responsibility each discipline has and what is shared among the disciplines. Conclusion: Patient safety is an essential part of nursing, pharmacy, and medical education. The presentation of an interactive case scenario that includes all disciplines teaches students the important role that each discipline plays in the care and safety of the patients. It should be noted that none of the represented colleges were affiliated with each other, other than a central location in a large medical center. Each college and university is independent of the others. This educational opportunity was tested as a pilot in 2014. It was brought to full scale and practice in 2015, at which time all students in their respective levels participated.