ICBioethics + LECOM Interprofessional Education

ICBioethics and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) Are Helping Students to Better Understand and Practice Interprofessional Collaboration

August 18, 2016

ICBioethics has partnered with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) to offer students effective interprofessional education. They are working together to create flexible, easily used simulations of scenarios that help students better understand and practice interprofessional collaboration strategies. These strategies help professionals build their soft skills (think bedside manner, communication, empathy, and relationship building) necessary for delivering true patient-centered care.

“LECOM has been at the forefront of acknowledging that treating the whole person doesn’t just focus on diagnostic tests, procedures, and medical interventions. We know that how all health professionals communicate with each other and interact with patients greatly impacts patient satisfaction and outcomes. We are dedicated to including those skills and strategies in all of our training programs,” Dr. Silvia M. Ferretti, Provost, Senior VP, and Dean of Academic Affairs stated. “Where interprofessional education skills are weak or lacking, our goal is to instill them in students; where they are good, we can make them better.”

Starting with elements of an existing case, the development team considered how to realistically demonstrate that the effective interprofessional collaboration of different types of health practitioners (i.e., physician, nurse, pharmacist, dentist, etc.) could potentially result in their combined expertise improving patient care. Creating this interprofessional education piece, the scenario, was a multiphase process. Jointly, the team crafted learning objectives for LECOM’s newly launched interprofessional education program (IPE) focused on teaching roles and responsibilities, teams and teamwork, communication skills, and values and ethics. They based learning objectives on Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice as delineated by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) Expert Panel.

To meet those objectives, ICBioethics designed a customizable, reusable learning object (RLO) that allows individual students, groups, or classes guided by an instructor to collaboratively work through a case.  With both audio and visual cues, the scenarios encourage students to identify roles and responsibilities of any relevant team members, evaluate communication skills, develop teamwork skills, and resolve a conflict that might be encountered in practice.

Dr. Kathy Detar Gennuso, CEO of ICBioethics, applauded their joint endeavor saying, “We’re proud of our mutual efforts with LECOM that resulted in creating a dynamic type of scenario with the adaptability for adding other types of professionals to the team as needed, depending upon the desired training situation. We’re delighted to be using our ethics expertise and technological skills to help train future health professionals in working collaboratively to deliver high quality, total patient care. I like to say that when it comes to placing importance on interprofessional collaboration skills, osteopathic schools really ‘get it,’ and LECOM is certainly taking the lead.”