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IPE: Interprofessional Education in the Health Sciences

What is IPE?

Interprofessional Education (IPE) is an approach to teaching and learning that brings together students from two or more professions to learn about, from, and with each other in service of enabling effective collaboration. The goal of IPE is to improve health outcomes through the education of a practice-ready healthcare team that is prepared to respond to local health needs. (WHO, 2010)

IPE at University of Washington is managed through the Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education Research and Practice (CHSIE). 

History of IPE as a teaching practice:  In 2009 six national education associations of schools of health professions representing higher education in allopathic and osteopathic medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and public health formed a collaborative to promote and encourage interprofessional learning experiences.  The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) established common core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice which can help guide curricula development across the health professions.

The Four IPEC IPE Core Competency Domains include:

  1. Values/Ethics for Interprofessional Practice: Work with individuals of other professions to maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values.
  2. Roles/Responsibilities: Use the knowledge of one’s own role and those of other professions to appropriately assess and address the health care needs of patients and to promote and advance the health of populations. 
  3. Interprofessional Communication: Communicate with patients, families, communities, and professionals in health and other fields in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a team approach to the promotion and maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of disease.
  4. Teams and Teamwork: Apply relationship-building values and the principles of team dynamics to perform effectively in different team roles to plan, deliver, and evaluate patient/population-centered care and population health programs and policies that are safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable.

To read more about the 39 specific competencies in each domain, please refer to this IPEC document, Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, 2016 update.