Health professional partnerships matter: FIP

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Learning together with other health professionals is becoming more mainstream for pharmacists and future pharmacists, according to the FIP Education Initiative Report.

The report, Interprofessional education in a pharmacy context: Global report 2015, published on the weekend was launched as part of this year’s World Pharmacists Day theme of partnership.

It presents examples of multidisciplinary education from around the world, which includes the development of an interprofessional curriculum at the University of Queensland, Australia, and oncology nurses training in a hospital pharmacy department in Uruguay.

The report authors say this type education is set to become more common in classrooms and clinical settings.

“As the number and complexity of treatments grow, it’s no longer possible for any one health provider — no matter how knowledgeable — to be able provide top quality care working in isolation,” says co-author Tina Brock.

According to a statement, interprofessional education is an area of pharmacy where developing countries are active, using new models that others can replicate.

“In under-resourced countries, there is typically a shortage of health professionals. This provides additional motivation for professionals in emerging systems to combine forces and to include lower level personnel on their teams, as we have seen in Kenya,” says Brock.

“In the US and many western systems, we’re now spending significant resource in retraining people who were educated separately to work together in high performing teams. If under-resourced countries never build those professional ‘silos’, they will not have to expend precious resource to tear them down.

The FIP and the World Health Organization believe that interprofessional education is a foundation for a collaborative, practice-ready workforce and that this type of practice will strengthen healthcare systems and improve patient outcomes.

“While there are many hurdles to moving interprofessional education forward, we have identified a variety of models and many successes in this area. We hope to expedite progress by sharing these examples,” says co-author Jill Boone.

Pharmacists and educators from around the world will discuss interprofessional education this week at the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Düsseldorf, Germany.

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