Interprofessional education collaboration beyond rehabilitation medicine: The how to of planning for success utilizing an IPE simulated emergency as a case example.


Interprofessional education (IPE) has gained substantial traction within higher education and is a central method for preparing health profession students to work in collaborative practice.1 Physical and occupational therapy programs have understood and promoted the importance of team collaboration in patient centered care completing interprofessional education long before the term was coined in the mid 1980’s. Interprofessional collaboration goes beyond rehabilitative medicine and the preparation of physical therapy students must include IPE with other health care professionals to promote patient centered care and improved outcomes. Standardized simulation experiences create opportunities for problem based learning and development of critical thinking skills.2 Students report that these experiences are valuable for learning and more useful than role playing.3 A university sought to capitalize on the benefits of standardized simulation and interprofessional education among its health science programs utilizing a medical emergency situation.

Methods and/or Description of Project

A University's School of Health Science sought to promote IPE beyond the traditional physical therapy and occupational therapy IPE interaction. Department program faculty including: physcial therapy, paramedic, medical laboratory sciences, nursing, and physician assistant, came together to create an IPE simulated emergency patient care scenario taking the standardized patient who experienced an adverse event from an outpatient rehabilitation environment to the university’s simulation center ER using the paramedic department's ambulance training rig. Planning for the event began five months prior to the event with the coordination of the five programs’ curriculum. Primary barrier to the incorporation of all of these programs was determining the appropriate standardized patient case to not only meet the learning objectives of each program but also to allow for the appropriate timing assuring that students had acquired the skills and knowledge to allow for successful participation. Monthly meetings to coordinate the component parts, rubrics, documents, and checklists were completed through interdepartmental collaboration. Evaluation tools were explored and selected to administer to participants to collect data on the experience.


An IPE emergency simulation event was just completed, April 3, 2017 with 87 students from 5 different programs. The primary focus of the simulation was communication and use of teamSTEPPS tools to safely deliver a patient with an adverse event from the outpatient clinic via ambulance to the simulated ER for evaluation. Important clues to the cause of the adverse event were imbedded in the case scenerio requiring participants to gather and pass information from one treatment provider to another to insure a succesful outcome for the simulated patient. Data was collected on the teamSTEPPS observation tool and TeamSTEPPS Teamwork Attitudes Questionaire to gauge student learning, application of teamSTEPP tools, and teamwork. Data was gathered on student perceptions of the event via written self reflection. Data has not yet been analyzed in significant detail. Proper and detailed planning promoted the sucessful event for all 5 participating program students. Data analysis will provide further detail to strengthen the organization, planning, and completion of the event. Initial comments from faculty and students were positive. Faculty debrief is scheduled for April 12 after the deadline for this conference proposal submission.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education

IPE is important for healthcare professional programs as students utilize critical thinking, practice patient safety, and demonstrate collaborative problem-based learning. Outlining steps and important considerations for implementation can assist healthcare programs in creating interprofessional opportunities for students to learn with, about, and from each other, strengthening collaborative patient centered care.
IPE is important for healthcare professional programs as students utilize critical thinking, practice patient safety, and demonstrate collaborative problem-based learning. Creating IPE standardized patient simulation events requires planning and resources. This presentation will provide resources, tools, and examples for successful implementation of such an event.


1. Buring SM, Bhushan A, Broeseker A, Conway S, Duncan-Hewitt W, Hansen L, Westberg S. Interprofessional Education: Definitions, student competencies, and guidelines for implementation. Am J Pharm Educ. 2009;73(4)59:1-8.

2. Lindstrom-Hazel D, West-Frasier J. Preparing students to hit the ground running with problem-based learning standardized simulations. Am J Occup Ther. 2004;58(2):236-239.

3. Pritchard SA, Blackstock FC, Nestel D, Keating JL. Simulated patients in physical therapy education: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Phys Ther. 2016;96(9):1342-1353.

Course Objectives

After attending this session participants will:
1. Understand the complexities and barriers for consideration in the creation of a multi-department IPE event.
2. Understand the planning stages and necessary steps to implement a successful IPE event.
3. Have the resources to be able to implement an IPE standardized patient simulation event: templates, debrief questions, checklists, and survey tools

Instructional Methods

Small Group Facilitated Collaboration

Tentative Outline/Schedule

Overview of IPE current research (10 min)
Overview of Project (10 min)
Planning Steps (30 min)
Overcoming Barriers (10 min)
Small group facilitated collaboration (15 min)
Sharing of ideas (10 min)
Wrap up and video (5 min)

Participants will be provided with resource and tools to plan, promote, and carry out a sucessful event. This session could be expanded to 2 hours to promote increased time for collaborative learning.

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  • Control #: 2750419
  • Type: Educational Session
  • Event/Year: ELC2017
  • Authors: Dr. Angela MacCabe, Barbara Stolle , Melissa Castillo , Nichole Higgins, Kari Potter, Alycia Brantz
  • Keywords:

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