What is IPE?
The Center for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE), has defined interprofessional education (IPE) as “occasions when two or more professions learn with, from and about each other to improve collaboration and the quality of care.” Further, four competency domains have been defined by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC). They are: Values/Ethics, Roles/Responsibilities, Interprofessional Communication, and Teams and Teamwork. Our center uses this definition and addresses these competencies in developing curricula that prepare students for practice in the changing health care system.
The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has argued that patients are more likely to receive safe, quality care when health professionals work together. The NAM reports, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System (2000), and Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century (2001) speak to the importance of interprofessional team-based care. Since the publication of these reports, an emerging body of research supports the idea that a team-based approach leads to better patient outcomes. As a consequence, forward-thinking healthcare delivery systems have endorsed interprofessional collaborative practice as a way to improve the quality of healthcare. IPE is the vehicle through which current and future healthcare providers are trained to work in this way.
Two important concepts- the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aim Initiative and the Affordable Care Act- inform our work at the Center.
IHI Triple Aim
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) has created the “Triple Aim” framework as a methodology to optimize health system performance. The framework includes three dimensions to be developed simultaneously. The “Triple Aim” consists of:
An Improved patient experience of care to include increased quality and satisfaction
A focus on improvements in population health
The reduction of per capita cost of health care
Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in March 2010. It calls for the expansion of health coverage to 30 million previously uninsured Americans, increased benefits and lower costs to consumers of healthcare, increased funding for prevention and public health, a renewed focus on healthcare workforce and infrastructure and a focus on innovations to improve healthcare quality. The outcomes of the ACA have, in part, lead to demand for more responsive healthcare systems such as Accountable Care Organizations, patient-centered medical homes, and transitional care models. All of these are defined by or enhanced by interprofessional collaboration among providers with patients and communities.