Chile expands the discussion about IPE in the academic environment

The city of Talca, located in the central area of Chile, hosted a series of activities for the implementation of Interprofessional Education (IPE) in the academic environment. Coordinated by the Department of Public Health of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FCS) of the University of Talca, the innovation project for IPE faculty development was developed through a set of meetings and workshops with authorities, university representatives and health services.

The IPE project of the University of Talca, formulated in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization - World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) and the Regional Network for Interprofessional Education in the Americas (REIP), aims to improve the incorporation of this approach in the training of professionals from the academic institution, in addition to generating scientific evidence that allows their evaluation both in pedagogical practice and in the training of health and social professionals.

On January 6 and 7, two meetings were held with FCS authorities and teachers to present the project's objective, the fundamentals of IPE and to discuss about the importance of changing the health professions' education model.

On January 8, FCS professors were invited to the workshop by the university departments and the invitation was extended to representatives of the School of Medicine, Psychology and Occupational Therapy, Fundamental Training Program of the Vice Dean of the University of Talca and Technical Career Higher Education (TENS) of the Technical Education Center. The invitation was also addressed to managers of some clinical fields in the city.

The workshop started with a presentation by José Rodrigues Freire Filho, representative of REIP, about the IPE concept and how to implement an IPE program. Professor Loreto Núñez Franz presented the IPE experience in the Department of Public Health related to the 2019 Innovation in Teaching project of the Graduate Office of the Vice-Rectory.

After the presentations, working groups were formed to answer each of the key questions: How can IPE be implemented at the University of Talca ? What actors are needed to apply IPE at the University of Talca? and What are the benefits of applying IPE to move towards Universal Health?

In addition, each group discussed ways to incorporate IPE into the curriculum, considering the following aspects:

  • Which IPE competency would you like to work on?
  • Who would do this?
  • Where, in which module / course can it be incorporated?
  • When, at what level of training should it take place?
  • What IPE methodology?

The results

The workshop was attended by 40 people from the most diverse careers, such as nursing, statistics, kinesiology, nutrition, obstetrics, dentistry, psychology, social assistance and medical technology.

Through the questions, the participants presented a series of proposals for the implementation of the IPE at the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Talca.

The proposals

At the macro level
  • Formulation of a university resolution in which the University of Talca adheres to the IPE strategy and then moves on to constitute a unit or other coordinating body, similar to a department in the University's organizational structure, to incorporate IPE as a distinctive brand of the institution.
At the meso level
  • Incorporate the IPE gradually and transversally in the courses, defining a minimum of modules where it can be incorporated, in addition, the IPE methodology that should be encouraged to be used in pedagogical activities.
In short time
  • Incorporate IPE into the subjects of the Fundamental Training Program, for example, in social responsibility, so that teachers and students are trained on the IPE basis.
  • Incorporate IPE in the didactic planning of the disciplines of the Department of Public Health, such as Health Education, in the 1st or 2nd year, awareness activities for the use of IPE
  • Develop the clinical simulation strategy, where EIP is worked with at least two careers.

The benefits of applying IPE to move towards Universal Health

Workshop participants recognized the benefits of applying IPE to FCS health careers, listed in four categories: quality of care, cost reduction, user well-being and interaction with health and social professionals.

The continuity and sustainability of the proposal

The group of participants in the event argued that IPE should be incorporated into the induction activities of all professionals who joined FCS at the University of Talca. In addition, incorporate it as a theme in a Competency Based Education program, developed annually by the University of Talca.

Also, carry out training initiatives for internship preceptors and other professionals in the clinical areas, where the theoretical foundations of IPE can be addressed. And in at least one module incorporate learning from IPE.

Establish collaborative links with technical education centers to raise awareness of IPE, in which authorities, course directors and departments participate, as an opportunity to transform education and the health work model in the region, contributing to the promotion of effective health collaboration practices, was also one of the group's proposals.

The discussions of the workshop participants will be systematized in a report for validation between the group, for purposes of presentation to university authorities, in order to obtain a work plan for the advancement of IPE within the institution.