Interprofessional learning (IPL) and Quality Improvement Education (QIE) are increasingly recognized as important tools to improve performance of U.S. healthcare teams and address the changes the U.S. healthcare system and the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) system are undergoing (Hager, Russell, Fletcher, & Macy Jr, 2008; IoM, 2010; Macy, 2013; WHO, 2010). The need for change is clear: Healthcare is increasingly delivered by teams, yet healthcare teams are not trained as teams or familiar with team-based quality improvement (QI) methodology – and therefore their ability to address the need for quality improvement is limited.
To address that gap, the Institute of Medicine concluded that professional development of the healthcare workforce and healthcare system should be analyzed together. To improve our healthcare outcomes, it is important to better align the transformation of healthcare workforce CPD with the massive reform of the U.S. healthcare system, and ensure widespread adoption of IPL (IoM, 2015).
This research aims to contribute to that goal by finding how QIE and IPL are perceived by four professions participating in the perioperative team (physician anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologist assistants), and which QIE- and IPL-related technologies and practices each profession involved in the research have available or plan to implement soon. Results of this research will help healthcare leaders better plan implementation of technology-enhanced QIE and IPL in the context of the perioperative team. In addition, although the perioperative context is specific, a significant part of the findings will be applicable to other interprofessional healthcare teams.
I believe that the research will show that technology-enhanced QIE and IPL are in many ways related to networked learning, and that their successful implementation will require creation of networked learning communities.