Interprofessional Health Workforce Training and Education
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Interprofessional training (also referred to as “interdisciplinary”) seeks to encourage researchers, students, educators, and professionals to integrate the expertise and methodology from two or more disciplines in the pursuit of a common task. A 2001 report focusing on interprofessional health care education addressed an increasing need for this kind of training, stating that “evidence is mounting that interprofessional practice models are effective in improving patient outcomes, increasing patient and provider satisfaction, and decreasing health care costs when employed in a variety of practice settings,” and this evidence has continued to grow since the publication of this report. Although training workers to collaborate across different disciplines is clearly beneficial, “multiple barriers” stand in the way of these efforts according to the same report. “Structural issues such as reimbursement, licensing, and competition between professionals, as well as conceptual problems such as a lack of mutual role understanding and lack of experience or training in interdisciplinary collaboration” are some of these barriers. Even interprofessional training and education efforts are difficult to launch and sustain due to “a lack of adequate funding” as well as a general neglect of “rigorous methodology in research design for outcomes evaluation.” The increasing diversity of the population, the growing number of vulnerable individuals, and the challenges of caring for the increasing numbers of people with complex chronic and social illnesses call for revised thinking about the delivery of health care and, consequently, education in health care fields.
Page last updated April 2, 2013