Geriatric Outreach and Training with Care (GOT Care!) is an interprofessional project, propelled with national grant funding, that brings together clinical geriatric faculty experts and students from the disciplines of nursing, medicine, dental medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, social work, and public health. The purpose of GOT Care! is to reduce risks for hospitalization among community-dwelling vulnerable older adults with multiple chronic conditions and high emergency department use. Students and faculty use a collaborative practice approach to provide evidence-based geriatric care within the home environment. In addition to increasing trainee knowledge about caring for geriatric patients, GOT Care! provides the opportunity for students to learn from other disciplines.
Faculty and students participate in weekly outreach home visits to identify vulnerable older adults and to provide a hands-on student experience in geriatric assessment and interprofessional practice. After the visits, the team conferences to develop recommendations to provide to the primary care provider in an effort to reduce risks for hospitalization of the older adult. This poster will provide a case example which will be utilized to demonstrate the collaborative approach to geriatric assessment of community dwelling older adults and the positive impact interprofessional assessments and recommendations can have. Interaction with primary care providers and other members of the healthcare team will be described, and overall patient outcomes and student reflections will be presented.
A total of 264 students including 35 doctor of physical therapy students participated in the GOT Care! program. In addition to performing the outreach visits, all of the interprofessional students participated in a two-day interactive training program to put into practice the core competencies for interprofessional practice developed by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. Physical therapy students participated in a reflection process after each aspect of the program. Themes consistently identified in a qualitative analysis of the reflections revealed the students greatly valued the interprofessional aspect of the outreach visits, and felt better prepared to collaborate with other health professionals in order to provide patient-centered care.
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education
Trained faculty and students formed a highly effective and efficient interprofessional team which was poised to improve outcomes for identified community-dwelling vulnerable older adults with multiple chronic conditions and high emergency department use. Outcomes from this project indicate that team recommendations have resulted in linking patients with needed community services and high patient and primary care provider satisfaction with the program. Participant reflections indicate that students feel better prepared to work in an interprofessional manner to provide patient-centered care.
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