Virtual Case-Based Interprofessional Education Launched During the COVID Pandemic
Background, including statement of problem, and aims
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University has historically collaborated with Rutgers University Schools of Social Work, Nursing and Law to provide interprofessional education. The pandemic provided a challenge as well as an opportunity for collaboration with Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, University of the Sciences, to create a virtual interprofessional experience for learners at various levels of education. This experience was developed to introduce interprofessional education (IPE) concepts early in healthcare education.
Design or methodology
Clinical cases, developed by an interprofessional team of educators, highlighted opportunities to explore and discuss ways to deliver interprofessional collaborative patient care. One case involved a pregnant woman with COVID-19. The other explored end-of-life decisions in a patient with cardiac disease. Virtual conferencing platforms brought together interprofessional teams of 14 to 17 students and 1 to 3 facilitators for a 2-hour session to discuss one of the two patient cases. Each team included medical, nursing, social work ± pharmacy students. Faculty from all four schools served as facilitators using a detailed facilitator guide, and guiding questions for discussion.
Results (data, outcomes and evidence)
Each school determined its process for evaluation which led to some challenges. For example, this interprofessional experience was not required for pharmacy students and hence, no formal assessment/evaluation data were collected. The required assessment from the medical students (part of their course evaluation) were overall positive as well as the social work students’ reflection papers. Nursing students voluntary feedback which was positive, noted the experience as a helpful initial exposure to IPE.
This project transformed a previous in-person interprofessional experience into a virtual, case-based learning opportunity that brought together students from different health professional schools to learn about, from and with each other. The virtual format eliminated some logistical challenges such as space, meals, and travel. Both cases provided students an opportunity to address contemporary health care challenges which was appreciated by the students, and achieved the learning objectives set forth.
Although student and faculty feedback were positive, there were lessons learned related to planning and implementation such as handling scheduling conflicts among schools, building a stable collaborative planning team, and modeling respect for one another. Based on positive feedback and lessons learned, the planning team is eager to make improvements and plans to continue offering this virtual opportunity.