Advancing safe drug use through interprofessional learning (IPL): A pilot study

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Interprofessional collaborative patient-centered care (IPCPC) improves healthcare quality and cost. Drug-related morbidity drives healthcare costs, thus requiring IPCPC approaches. The lack of educational preparedness for would-be IPCPC practitioners underlies the failure of historic IPCPC attempts, hence today's emphasis on pre-licensure interprofessional education (IPE). A pilot IPE class was conducted on rational drug use (RDU) through rational drug prescribing. Twenty fourth-year nursing students and 88 second-year medical students participated (8–10 medical per 2–3 nursing students) in small group activity in a lecture hall. A case study on rational drug choice and prescription writing processes from medical and nursing perspectives was used. Eighty of 108 (74%) students completed the post-activity questionnaire and were satisfied with the class, with a mean weighted score (mws) of 0.8. The learning outcomes (mws = 1.0) contributed more (P < 0.05) to students satisfaction than the organization/delivery (mws = 0.6). A majority (84–94%) agreed the class objectives were achieved and favored more classes. Interaction with other healthcare professionals and the crowded classroom were, respectively, the most- and least-liked aspects of the class. The study revealed students' appetite for IPE, highlights the challenges in developing IPE curricula, and could serve as impetus for schools developing IPE for RDU curricula.

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