Interprofessional communication: There's no "I" in team!
Background: The Joint Commission reports communication errors as a leading cause of sentinel events in the U.S. Breakdown in communication across various health fields has been attributed to a lack of teamwork amongst healthcare professionals. Undergraduate health science students rarely have opportunities to work with other disciplines; this lack of opportunity is related to a lack of teamwork. To foster interprofessional teamwork, in 2017, an interprofessional case study event was conducted with undergraduate nursing, nutrition, childlife, social work, and OT/PT students at Tennessee Technological University.
Purpose: The purpose of this quantitative, one group (n=130) pre/post test research study was to determine the effects of undergraduate interprofessional educational opportunities on students’ perceptions of interprofessional teamwork.
Methods: The case study event consisted of nursing, nutrition, childlife, social work, and OT/PT students at Tennessee Technological University. We gathered data using the SPICE-R2 Instrument to gather quantitative data regarding students’ perceptions of interprofessional team-based practice. The self-report survey was administered before and after the interprofessional case study event to compare pre-event and post-event scores. Our results support statistically significant improvement in students’ perceptions of teamwork.
Conclusion: These results indicate the interprofessional case study event helped students realize that interdisciplinary teamwork improved their collaboration and view of teamwork. This increase in communication may decrease the amount of future sentinel events, creating a safer healthcare environment for patients. Due to the statistically significant improvement in students’ perceptions of teamwork, we recommend these events be included in health science students’ educations semesterly.