Interprofessional ambulatory primary care practice-based educational program

Mary T Coleman, Kay Roberts, Dan Wulff, Riaan van Zyl, Karen Newton
Journal of Interprofessional Care 2008, 22 (1): 69-84
Although interprofessional teamwork and collaboration are considered key elements for improving patient outcomes, there are few reports of controlled studies involving interprofessional training of health care learners in the ambulatory primary care setting. We describe an educational program for teams of nurse practitioners, family medicine residents and social work students to work together at clinical sites in the delivery of longitudinal care in primary care ambulatory clinics. Year 1 was a planning year. Program evaluation completed at the end of the second curriculum (Year 3) indicated that the changes the team made at the end of the first curriculum (Year 2) resulted in increased appreciation of the training program, greater perception of value of care delivered by interprofessional teams among team learners as compared to non-team learners, and team learner self assessment of improved team skills including working with other professionals, resolving conflict, and integrating prevention and health promotion into health care. Team learners demonstrated an increased awareness of the limits of their own profession's approach to team care. We conclude that interprofessional ambulatory clinical training in primary care where learners work together providing care to patients can contribute to fostering both positive learner attitudes toward interprofessional work and development of team skills.

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