Health professions educators can benefit from continuing education to effectively facilitate interprofessional education (IPE) in clinical settings. Virtual learning formats enable broader participation and overcome barriers to in-person events, but little data exists on the most effective platforms and methods of virtual continuing education for this purpose. We developed a 6-week interactive online program implemented in an integrated virtual learning platform (VLP) to equip participants with knowledge and skills to better facilitate IPE. The program consisted of asynchronous and synchronous individual, small group, and large group activities. Interaction among participants was prioritized through facilitated weekly small group discussions. Each interprofessional small group worked collaboratively to develop an IPE tool or activity for use in clinical settings.
Program outcomes evaluation involved mixed-methods data analysis from VLP site usage statistics, pre/post-course surveys, pre/post course self-assessments, and a focus group. Analysis focused on program participants’ perspectives of learning outcomes and interprofessional socialization with other participants, as well as virtual learning and program structure preferences.
Twenty-four participants completed the program including nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physicians, and physician assistants from various clinical settings. Approximatley 70% of participants had >6 years clinical experience and 58% had <6 years of learner supervisory experience. We found that all eleven measures of IPE knowledge and skills improved, with >25% improvement in knowledge of IPE competencies, activity design, assessing learners' collaborative practice skills, and providing feedback. Significant improvement was seen in 4 of 9 socialization measures and 9 of 18 facilitation measures. Synchronous interactivity, facilitator contributions, and the VLP were the most highly rated program components, whereas asynchronous discussion was rated least favorably. A post-program focus group revealed several themes: participants value multiple modes of instruction, facilitated small group engagement, brief condensed asynchronous content, and better understanding of time commitment and the VLP at the start of the program.
In support of improving patient care, this activity is planned and implemented by The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education Office of Interprofessional Continuing Professional Development (OICPD). The OICPD is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.
This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.
Physicians: The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education designates this live activity for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.
Physician Assistants: The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.
Nurses: Participants will be awarded contact hours of credit for attendance at this workshop.
Nurse Practitioners: The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.
Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians: This activity is approved for contact hours.
IPCE: This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credits for learning and change