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Improving Patient Outcomes through Interprofessional Education

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Evidence-based health care (EBHC) came about in the 1990s in response to the huge variability in health care treatment. It replaced what we now look back on as “eminence-based” health care whereby treatment options varied based on how and where clinicians were trained and by whom. With opinion and personality driving clinical decisions, it was not uncommon for two patients with exactly the same condition to receive different treatments. In contrast, evidence-based healthcare uses the best available evidence to find the safest and most effective treatments. Today’s medical students comb through countless studies and learn to evaluate the quality and value of the evidence in both primary and secondary literature on a topic.

Now that EBHC has become the norm, the new challenge is to find the best way to teach this more effective mode of health care delivery and to encourage lifelong learning amongst aspiring clinicians. Weyant and Seybert’s ACIE project, “Evidence-based Healthcare:  Interprofessional, Learner-Focused Small Groups in Large Lecture Courses in Dentistry and Pharmacy”, promotes both career-long learning as well as knowledge sharing across health disciplines – in this case, between dentists and pharmacists. They are redesigning  two fall semester courses – Evidence-based Dentistry (CDENT 5116) and Pharmacotherapy of Cardiovascular Disease (PHARM 5216) – to incorporate three Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) sessions. POGIL is a form of highly structured guided inquiry that enhances critical thinking, problem-solving and communication through group collaboration and reflection. Working in small groups (4-5 students), pharmacy and dental students will work through material designed to present fundamental concepts of evidence-based medicine. Throughout this process Dr. Weyant and Seybert expect to see knowledge sharing between the dental and pharmacy students. Dental students will absorb some basic pharmacology of the medications discussed in the evidence-based studies, while pharmacy students can share anatomy and physiology expertise.

In the professional world, pharmacists and dentists tend not to interact directly. Moving forward, all health professions will need to find ways to communicate. As Weyant points out, an aging society brings about more complex patient health issues demanding more collaboration between health experts. Weyant and Seybert are creating a rare opportunity for two professions to enlighten one another and inspire ongoing communication. They are optimistic it will not only improve learning outcomes but patient outcomes as well.

By Carolyn Barber, CIDDE


SEPTEMBER 2013

Contents:

2013 ACIE Edition
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Learning By Doing: Hands on Research using the Research Experience Portal
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Bringing Customer Insight to the Chemical Product Design Process
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Flipping the class: Improving Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills in a Large Introductory Cell Biology Class
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Nursing and Theatre programs working together to improve patient teaching
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Exploring physical chemistry using mobile devices
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Science in a large lecture format for the non-scientist
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Improving Patient Outcomes through Interprofessional Education