Introduction: Interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when students of at least two or more professions learn about, from, and with each profession enhancing the delivery of patient care. The Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice published by the World Health Organization calls for schools of health sciences to train students who are ready to enter the workforce as a member of an interprofessional (IP) team. This IP exercise engaged students in teams composed of three healthcare professions to provide care to a patient transitioning from the ambulatory to the acute care setting. Methods: The case of “Ace on the Eighth” involved a standardized patient (SP) with a common critical medical condition, for which an IP team of students had to: (1) triage in a timely manner, (2) identify the need for transition of care, and (3) effectively communicate during hand-off from an ambulatory to an acute care settings. Students were from two different schools, one private and one public. The level of learners included second-year medical students, third-year pharmacy students, and first- and second-year graduate prelicensure nursing students. Faculty facilitators from participating programs observed the student teams and lead debriefing sessions. The scenario from orientation to debriefing took approximately 4 hours. Results: In May 2013, we implemented the IPE experience for 285 students and 88 facilitators over 2 half-days. The following year, 293 students and 100 facilitators took part in the experience. Achievement of the learning objectives was evaluated through student and faculty surveys, and overall, 91% of students (N = 193; response rate 65.4%) felt that the IPE was a valuable learning experience. From the open-ended survey responses and our experience facilitating the school debriefing sessions, students clearly valued the opportunity to work in an IP team with a SP, observe the roles of each student, and to formulate a care plan together. Eighty-one percent of faculty (N = 79; response rate 81.4%) felt that the IPE was extremely useful or very useful for the assessment of the students' clinical reasoning and critical thinking. Discussion: The IPE experience resulted in substantial changes in the curriculum for the pharmacy and medical schools. After the first year, the medical students requested additional content knowledge on the handoff of critically ill patients. The medical faculty responded by providing additional education on SBAR within the curriculum. The pharmacy faculty added 10 hours of practical training in the preparation of sterile products and five SP simulations to the curriculum. In the second year, we developed a master’s video to demonstrate how experienced clinicians would care for the same patient based on student feedback. Although this experience was done on a large scale, it can be adjusted for any number of students.
- Select group leaders for both ambulatory/clinic and hospital-based/ED patient care teams.
- Meet in healthcare team briefs or huddles to determine roles, responsibilities, and patient-centered treatment options.
- Communicate any concerns they have about the safety of the patient.
- Recognize emergent situation and recommend higher level of care.
- Communicate hand-off information using a standardized tool (SBAR).
- Summarize what went well and what can be improved through a facilitated team debriefing.
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