Academic Year:
2013 - 2014 (June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014)
Funding Requested:
Project Dates:
Overview of the Project:
Patient-centered communication is critical to improving healthcare outcomes. Working collaboratively will enable us to create a standardized model that could be used across health professional schools on campus. The World Health Organization defines interprofessional education as "When students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes". Interprofessional communication has also been identified as one of three core interprofessional education competency domains by the IPE Collaborative Expert Panel. To this end, health sciences education is rapidly moving toward interprofessional learning to ensure all trainees are prepared to work collaboratively to provide optimal care. Despite the call for IPE competency, few faculty receive formal training across interprofessional lines which has been found to enhance true collaboration and promote positive attitudes toward members of other disciplines (Silver & Leslie, 2009). Currently the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry all utilize the Standardized Patient Program as part of their clinical skills education. While there is modest standardization through the usage of training, personal, and facilities, there is no consensus across these fields on best-practices for patient-centered communication skills. One way to enhance our educational effectiveness as a University using standardized patients and improve the skills of faculty on IPE principals is to undergo a joint faculty development that improves the standardized patient training and student assessment process on campus.
Final Report Fields
Project Objectives:

Project Objectives We proposed to cooperatively develop a standard model for patient-centered communication skills across three of the health professions at the University of Michigan. The specific aims of this project were to: 1. Train faculty to educate learners about patient-centered communication. 2. Standardize patient-centered communication skills and assessment across the health professions that currently using a similar pool of standardized patients (SPs). 3. Initiate an interdisciplinary discourse and develop a patient-centered teaching strategy that will improve the future of health sciences education and care delivery. 4. Develop an IPE standardized patient case.

Project Achievements:

Project Achievements A. We hosted four 60-minute faculty development sessions on the assessment. Faculty participants have rated these sessions positively indicating they stimulated improvement in their ability to critically and thoroughly approach these topics and develop a basic understanding of key issues. Using a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree), faculty evaluated the sessions as follows: • The goals of the module (faculty development sessions) were clear. Mean=4.86 • The exercises stimulated improvement of my ability to critically and thoughtfully approach the subject matter. Mean=4.84 • The handouts and resources were useful. Mean=4.96 • I have a basic understanding of patient-centered communication skills after today. Mean=4.3 • I am able to identify key issues in patient-centered communication skills. Mean=5.00 • I am able to identify key issues in the standardization of SPIs. Mean=4.67 • I have a basic understanding of tools and techniques used for evaluating assessments after today Mean=5.00 • Using a scale of 1 (very poor) to 5 (very good), faculty rated the sessions for the project with a mean response of 4.63. B. We developed a UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HEALTH SCIENCES COMMUNICATION SKILLS CHECKLIST using key components from each school’s existing lists. C. We launched a 1.5 hour standardized patient exercise with 15 students, 5 from each school. Student evaluations of the pilot exercise indicated that all students (100%) believed the session enhanced their ability to engage in interprofessional communication, felt their learning during this session was enhanced by the participation of students from other health professions, and would recommend development of additional learning opportunities with students from multiple health professions. In this project we used the construct of patient-centered communication teaching and the use of standardized patients as a vehicle for health science interprofessional faculty development. Before this initiative the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry independently utilized a Standardized Patient Program as part of their communication and clinical skills education. Working more collaboratively has enabled us to create a standardized model that could be used across health professional schools on campus.

Through this process faculty developed comradeship and connections with faculty from other disciplines to use as a resource. This project also initiated a group for future scholarship. We intend to present the evaluation results from the pilot to the UM IPE Group.
In addition to presenting this project at the 15th Annual MHPE Summer Conference in Chicago in July 2014, as well as other professional meetings. We intend to submit the case development process to MedEdPORTAL and submit at least two peer-reviewed publications. We will also be submitting a proposal to the Macy Foundation to create a faculty development Coursera Course as well as a proposal to our respective school leadership to implement the case (or others like it) into the formal curriculum.
Advice to your Colleagues:
Interprofessional education should stress faculty development and camaraderie as a tool for success.