Primary care collaborative practice in quality improvement: Description of an interprofessional curriculum

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Abstract

Purpose.

An innovative quality improvement (QI)–focused interprofessional training curriculum for pharmacy residents and other healthcare trainees is described.

Summary.

Effective interprofessional collaboration and the ability to carry out QI initiatives are important skills for all healthcare trainees to develop when they are in training. To cultivate those skills, in 2011 a Veterans Affairs medical center in Idaho implemented a unique yearlong interprofessional curriculum for healthcare trainees, including postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) and postgraduate year 2 (PGY2) pharmacy residents, physician trainees in internal medicine, nurses, and psychologists. The curriculum has both didactic and experiential components. After attending a series of 1-hour workshops early in the academic year, trainees are assigned to interprofessional teams and work for the remainder of the year to complete QI projects. Over 100 trainees have participated in the interprofessional QI curriculum, with the majority of trainee projects based in the primary care setting. Pharmacy residents were involved in 62% of the projects completed in the 6 academic years ending with the 2016–17 year.

Conclusion.

Establishing an interprofessional QI curriculum allowed pharmacy residents in PGY1 and PGY2 programs to collaborate with other members of the healthcare team. Benefits include QI skills development, a greater understanding of QI initiatives at the institution, stronger relationships with other healthcare trainees and mentors, and improvements to patient care and safety and facility performance.

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