The concept of interprofessional education (IPE) has been proposed by many healthcare organizations and accrediting bodies as a way of equipping future health professionals with the skills needed to optimize patients’ health outcomes and address the changing needs of patients.
In response to this, the Faculty of pharmacy at Beirut Arab University (BAU) has redefined its understanding of graduates competences and best practices in health professions education and invited BAU Medical Faculties to a series of meetings to plan and implement a pilot IPE learning experience.
The pilot learning experience was very successful and provided solid data upon which the IPE course was developed in the following year. IPE course became an integral part of the curricula of all of the medical faculties, namely: Faculty of Pharmacy, Dentistry and Health Sciences that includes four specialties (Nursing, nutrition, physical therapy and medical laboratory).
The course design helps students better understand the other professions and develop positive teamwork skills that can improve patient safety and the quality of the healthcare experience for patients and professionals.
(Click here to see course learning outcomes and core competencies).
The IPE course comprises four major interprofessional education phases that engage up to 200 students at a time, from the all Medical Faculties. The first phase relates to communication and team building, the subsequent ones focus on interprofessional collaborative practice through a paper case-based study, while the last one engage students in a collaborative project.
Each of these phases is designed to allow students to examine the roles of the other health professionals, to share knowledge and expertise and to explore how their own profession fits within the overall team.
Under the initiative of the Faculty of Pharmacy, an interprofessional education committee was established to provide guidance and support in designing and implementing the IPE course within the curricula of Medical Faculties. The IPE committee is comprised of one representative from each of the medical Faculties. After each phase, the IPE committee examines feedback from students and facilitators in order to improve the next ones.
Quotes from students
“Working together on cases enabled me to begin networking with future professionals from many different health professions. It also gave me a stronger knowledge base from which to build professional relationships and ask questions to other health professionals.” – Dentistry Student
Many patients are discharged from the hospital and they do not know why they are taking certain medications, so a lot of our time is spent talking to patients, doctors and nurses. I think that having a better understanding of each other’s roles will help us communicate better.” – Pharmacy Student