Strengthening the Academic-Practice Partnership to Support Interprofessional Clinical Education


Strong academic-practice partnerships are essential to translating the concepts of interprofessional education (IPE) to interprofessional practice (IPP). The purpose of this presentation is to describe the process that has been used to build a collaborative relationship between a health professions school and a major teaching hospital, and to share strategies that have been incorporated to address challenges. Although we have had a historically strong connection for discipline-specific clinical experiences, in 2011 we embarked on an effort to develop a collaborative model for in-patient experiences for students in physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, nursing and physician assistant studies. This relationship was built on a mutual commitment to give students a strong IPP experience and to foster a strong clinical IPP culture.


We will describe our innovative collaborative model in the implementation of interprofessional dedicated education units (IPDEUs) on two inpatient floors, which involves the supervision of interprofessional dyads of students by hospital staff from various disciplines as they work with their patients, fostering an understanding of the IPEC competencies. Students participate on two occasions, one time with a nursing interprofessional practice instructor (IPI) and another time with a PT, OT or SLP, participating in active observation activities emphasizing the four IPEC domains. Our efforts have also required a focus on faculty development for IPIs, productivity issues, curriculum integration and scheduling, and scalability to accommodate large numbers of students. Through focus groups, surveys and narratives, we have received continuous feedback, which has allowed us to strengthen our objectives and teaching methods to better promote IPE.


After working with the IPDEUs for four years, several changes have been instituted based on evaluative data, including a refinement of objectives and better preparation for students and clinical faculty. The IPEDU experience is coordinated with IPE that is integrated throughout the academic curricula, providing a stronger framework for students to understand the nature of IPP. We have also been able to document a change in culture within the IPDEUs, allowing IPP to become more visible.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education

Because IPE is only relevant if we can see translation to practice, it is essential that we develop strong academic-practice partnerships that provide real world experiences for students. These partnerships build mutual commitments to IPE and IPP, fostering change in both the academic and clinical environments. Students benefit from these opportunities to see IPP work, academic curricula are strengthened, and IPP becomes more evident. By working together on this initiative, we have realized a transformation into a true IPE team across institutions, fully appreciating each other's values, limitations, and contributions to the academic programs and clinical practice.


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

Frenk J, Chen L, Bhutta ZA, Cohen J, et al. Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world. The Lancet 2010; 376(9756): 1923-1958.

Herrin D, Hathaway D, Jacobs S, et al. A model academic-practice partnership. J Nursing Admin 2006; 36(12):547-550

Nelson S, Tassone M, Hodges G. Creating the Healthcare of the Future: The Toronto Model for Interprofessional Education and Practice. Cornell University Press, NY. 2014.

Simmons B, Oandasan I, Soklaradis S, et al. Evaluating the effectiveness of an interprofessional education faculty development course: the transfer of interprofessional learning to the academic and clinical practice setting. J Interprof Care 2011;25:156-157.

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  • Control #: 2527096
  • Type: Platforms
  • Event/Year: ELC2016
  • Authors: Dr. Leslie Portney, Gaurdia Banister, Linda Andrist, Carmen Vega-Barachowitz, Maureen Schnider, Fitzgerald Patricia
  • Keywords:

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