Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Development of Interprofessional Education Activities

Saturday, 28 October 2017: 2:15 PM

Heba Sadaka, MSN
Department of Acute and Continuing Care, The University of Texas Health Sciences at Houston, Texas School of Nursing, Houston, TX, USA
Denise Ragland, PharmD
College of Pharmacy, The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy, Little Rock, AR, USA

Communication and collaboration among health care team members constitute a challenge that impacts patient safety. Health care education has traditionally been delivered to each profession in silos. Developing interprofessional education (IPE) activities that promote an understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities is paramount for safe collaborative practice WHO (2010).


The purpose of this study was to develop and implement interprofessional education activities that address the Interprofessional Education Collaborative core competencies of roles/responsibilities, communication, and teamwork (2011) and to evaluate their effectiveness.


A pilot group of nursing and pharmacy students were required to complete two Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School patient safety courses, PS 100: Introduction to Patient Safety and PS 101: Fundamentals of Patient Safety prior to coming to the IPE seminar (IHI, 2016). On the seminar day, students were divided into 4 groups each have a mix of nursing and pharmacy students. The first activity was designed to help students learn about each other’s roles and responsibilities. Each group was asked to draw two large overlapping circles and to write the job duties pertaining to nursing and pharmacy professions and to list the duties that overlap between the two professions in the overlapping section. Following completion of the activity, each group presented the information they gathered to the rest of the groups. In the second activity, each group was given one of the IHI Open school case studies to work on it together and brain storm ways of collaborating together and working together to prevent medical errors from happening. Case studies used were: The Misread Label, An Insulin Overdose, On Being Transparent and An Extended Stay. Students worked together in teams during the IPE seminar day and presented their findings to the rest of the groups. 


Students completed a short online survey anonymously before the seminar, survey questions were taken from the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS) (Luecht et al., (1990). Immediately following the activities students completed an online post-activity survey anonymously. Post activities survey included the same questions in the pre-survey plus questions to evaluate the effectiveness of the IPE activities and its’ impact on students’ communication and their understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities. Students were also given the opportunity to respond to open ended questions to voice their satisfaction of the activities and their recommendation for improvements. 


Of 87 students, 74 students reported that the activities increased their understanding of other healthcare professionals’ roles, and 73 students reported that the activities enhanced their communication skills with other professional students. More than 87% of students reported that the activities expanded their professional knowledge or affirmed that their current knowledge is correct and 86% of students reported that activities enabled them to learn something from a student in a different curriculum. Students’ response to questions taken from IEPS didn’t show considerable changes from the pre-to post survey. Over all students were highly satisfied with the IPE activities and recommended to include the medical students in the activities to add more interaction between professions.

Impact for nursing education/practice:

Developing and implementing IPE activities into nursing education curriculum are important to help new graduate nurses engage in collaborative practice with other profession. Collaboration among health profession results in better clinical outcomes, improving patient satisfaction of care and ultimately reducing the cost of care achieving the triple aim (IHI, 2016).