It’s time for a change. A real change.
Patients, families, government, and health care administrators understand what can be done when united in one voice, with one vision. And this is what they are aiming for. They are calling for a patient- centred health care model that will address the complex needs of patients, while also improving their safety and outcomes. They are calling for a patient-centred health care model that will encourage job satisfaction, while also increasing cost savings.
They are calling for interprofessional collaboration. And they have been heard.
Interprofessional collaboration is a powerful concept. At its most fundamental level, it promotes the active participation of each health provider in patient care. At its more dynamic, experiential level, it improves patient and family goals, it builds mechanisms for fluid, continuous communication among caregivers, it optimizes staff involvement in clinical decision-making within and across professions, and it fosters respect for disciplinary contributions of all professionals.
Interprofessional education (IPE) and collaborative practice can be complex concepts. Simply put, interprofessional education occurs when “two or more professions learn with, from, and about each other to improve collaboration and the quality of care.”(caipe, 2002).
Many in health care would claim that they are already working collaboratively because they function together with other health care workers. In reality, they may just be individuals using their specific skills to achieve a group’s shared objective. True collaboration is something else. It’s something more. True collaboration is not simply left to agreement and communication. It is creation and synergy too. It is the combined effort being greater than the sum of the individual efforts.
It is the combined effort creating something utterly new. Collaboration in health care then occurs when those of varied backgrounds, with complementary skills, come together to generate an understanding that would not have existed if they remained separate.
A change. A real change.
While a complex initiative, interprofessional education is effective. And necessary. In order to appropriately implement strategies that promote each health care provider’s active participation in patient care – now and as the process evolves – health workers must be given the essential knowledge, training, and tools. Competencies are crucial to allow health care providers the ability to assess effectiveness. The faculty of the RN-PDC has expertise in performance-based certification program design, and utilizes a competency- based methodology in its education framework. This framework and methodology were used to develop the essential culturally responsive interprofessional facilitator/collaborator competencies – the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for performance.
These competencies were then used to design two comprehensive courses: Interprofessional and Contributor Education for Collaborative Patient-Centred Care (ICE-C2), and the Interprofessional Facilitator Development Workshop.
As well, the faculty of RN-PDC makes itself available for both individual consultations and needs-based program design.