Interprofessional Continuing Education

Multiple health care professionals contribute to the care of every patient. In the health care continuum, the patient may encounter the Emergency Department, inpatient care, surgical care, critical care, discharge planning, and community-based care, while an interconnected team of physicians, PAs, RNs, case managers, NPs, and pharmacists weave together their assessments and recommendations to ensure seamless continuity of care.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), interprofessional education (IPE) is an action that “occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.”1 IPE has become the standard for training health care professionals and is designed to address professional practice gaps using an educational planning process that reflects input of professionals who make up the team.2 Performance of complex, interdependent tasks requires clinician competency in not only knowledge and technical skills, but also in their understanding of their roles on the health care team and perspectives of other team members.3 The evolution of IPE into ongoing clinical practice (Interprofessional Continuing Education, or “IPCE”) requires trained faculty and engaged providers from multiple professions.3

CEC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the health care team (IPCE). Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™ establishes the standards for education providers to deliver continuing education planned “by the healthcare team for the healthcare team.”

The planning process for educational activities classified as “interprofessional” must demonstrate:

  1. An integrated planning process that includes health care professionals from 2 or more professions.
  2. An integrated planning process that includes health care professionals who are reflective of the target audience members the activity is designed to address.
  3. An intent to achieve outcome(s) that reflect a change in skills, strategy, or performance of the health care team and/or patient outcomes.
  4. Reflection of 1 or more of the interprofessional competencies to include: values/ ethics, roles/ responsibilities, interprofessional communication, and/or teams/teamwork.2

CEC is one of a handful of providers nationally to receive this distinction and we are in an elite class that includes the Joint Commission, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons Health Services, and Duke University Health System. Much like conventional continuing medical education, IPCE providers use the Moore’s conceptual outcomes framework to plan and assess educational activities,4 but the inclusion of additional stakeholders in the learning process necessitates a broader perspective beyond conventional outcomes and new evaluation and assessment tools.5

In order to stay abreast of best practices and continue our role as a leader in the field, the CEC team participates in regular training and advocacy related to Joint Accreditation™, other continuing education standards, and interprofessional education. We also participate as speakers/presenters at IPE conferences and our owner serves as a Joint Accreditation™ surveyor for entities seeking accreditation or reaccreditation. View a poster completed by our team entitled “Opportunities to Improve Clinical Touch Points with Targeted Interprofessional Continuing Education”.

References & Suggested Reading:

  1. World Health Organization. Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice. 2010.

  2. Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. (2011). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: Report of an expert panel. Washington, D.C.: Interprofessional Education Collaborative.

  3. Weaver SJ, Rosen MA, Salas E, et al. Integrating the science of team training: guidelines for continuing education. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2010;30(4):208-220.

  4. Moore DE, Green JS, Gallis HA. Achieving desired results and improved outcomes: integrating planning and assessment throughout learning activities. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2009;29(1):1-15.

  5. Thistlethwaite J, Moran M; World Health Organization Study Group on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice. Learning outcomes for interprofessional education (IPE): Literature review and synthesis. J Interprof Care. 2010;24(5):503-513.