Alignment of an interprofessional student learning experience with a hospital quality improvement initiative
Journal of interprofessional care | 12 Apr 2018
TO Fowler, HH Wise, MP Mauldin, KR Ragucci, DB Scheurer, Z Su, PD Mauldin, JR Bailey and JJ Borckardt
Assessment of interprofessional education (IPE) frequently focuses on students' learning outcomes including changes in knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes. While a foundational education in the values and information of their chosen profession is critical, interprofessional learning follows a continuum from formal education to practice. The continuum increases in significance and complexity as learning becomes more relationship based and dependent upon the ability to navigate complex interactions with patients, families, communities, co-workers, and others. Integrating IPE into collaborative practice is critical to enhancing students' experiential learning, developing teamwork competencies, and understanding the complexity of teams. This article describes a project that linked students with a hospital-based quality-improvement effort to focus on the acquisition and practice of teamwork skills and to determine the impact of teamwork on patient and quality outcome measures. A hospital unit was identified with an opportunity for improvement related to quality care, patient satisfaction, employee engagement, and team behaviours. One hundred and thirty-seven students from six health profession colleges at the Medical University of South Carolina underwent TeamSTEPPS® training and demonstrated proficiency of their teamwork-rating skills with the TeamSTEPPS® Team Performance Observation Tool (T-TPO). Students observed real-time team behaviours of unit staff before and after staff attended formal TeamSTEPPS® training. The students collected a total of 778 observations using the T-TPO. Teamwork performance on the unit improved significantly across all T-TPO domains (team structure, communication, leadership, situation monitoring, and mutual support). Significant improvement in each domain continued post-intervention and at 15-month follow-up, improvement remained significant compared to baseline. Student engagement in TeamSTEPPS® training and demonstration of their reliability as teamwork-observers was a valuable learning experience and also yielded an opportunity to gather unique, and otherwise difficult to attain, data from a hospital unit for use by quality managers and administrators.
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