These days, healthcare professionals would have heard the acronyms, “IPE” and “IPCP” being mentioned with increasing frequency. But do we really know what IPE and IPCP mean, and how can they impact patient care? The
SingHealth Duke-NUS IPCP Taskforce breaks down these two buzzwords, explaining why collaborative practice in healthcare is essential and how education can play a part.
What? How? Why?
First off, we look at what Interprofessional Education (IPE) and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCP) are: two distinct but inter-related concepts; one of which serves as the means to the end.
IPCP is critical for tomorrow’s (and today’s) healthcare as patient care grows increasingly complex, requiring the expertise and knowledge of an interprofessional healthcare team. Advancements in healthcare also necessitate different healthcare professionals bringing their specific expertise to the table, so as to tailor and contextualise care to each individual patient.
Is It Really That Straightforward?
One might assume that IPE would automatically result in IPCP. In reality, IPCP is influenced by multiple factors – not all of which are even fully understood to this day. Research and scholarly enquiry continue to reveal what facilitates or inhibits IPCP and suggest possible measures to optimise IPCP in a healthcare setting. This reminds us that IPCP is not easy to attain.
If IPCP is a jigsaw puzzle, then IPE forms one of the pieces of this complicated puzzle – and a key one at that. Through IPE and the use of frameworks, we can equip individuals and teams with skills essential to foster IPCP. These include care models, competency frameworks, pedagogy, patient safety and quality improvement, and systems thinking. Most importantly, IPE develops a deeper understanding among the different professions of one anothers’ roles, expertise and skills, and translates that to better collaborative patient care.
Are You Doing It Right?
We know that IPE is crucial and by all purposes, useful in fostering IPCP. But are we doing it right? In order to get the most out of IPE, we look at some misconceptions that may hinder our IPE activities:
How Can You Get Involved in IPE?
The process of achieving IPCP will be a long journey, but one that requires the collaborative effort and teamwork of healthcare educators on the ground. Here’s how you can get involved:
IPE is one of the five key strategic thrusts under the
SingHealth Duke-NUS Education Masterplan (FY2021-2025) towards our relentless pursuit of education excellence.