The presenters at the inaugural Seed Grant Symposium of the University of Maryland, Baltimore's (UMB) Center for Interprofessional Education in November discussed research findings including new methods of teaching pharmacy, nursing, and medical students how to respond rapidly as a team to emergency health situations, and how different health professions should work together to manage cases in a public health department.
The six teams that were awarded funding for the 2014-2015 grant year discussed their results at the symposium in the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center at UMB.
“We are so excited to be hearing the outcomes of the work that’s been going on” as part of the seed grant program, said Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing (SON) and director of the Center for Interprofessional Education. She thanked the center’s co-directors Heather Congdon, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, assistant dean for the School of Pharmacy (SOP) at the Universities at Shady Grove, and David Mallott, MD, associate dean for medical education at the School of Medicine (SOM), for helping to make the center and these seed grants possible.
“At the IPE Center, we see ourselves as a place where someone can look for resources to become an incubator for interprofessional educational ideas,” said Kirschling. “These grants are part of that."
The center’s seed grant program began in 2014, offering $5,000 to $10,000 seed grants to support 13-month pilot projects examining new ideas in interprofessional education or interprofessional team-based care. Five new projects were funded this year as the seed grant program continues. Interprofessional education is a major focus of UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, and a tenet of the University’s 2011-2016 Strategic Plan.
At the symposium, Philip Dittmar, MD, and Norman Retener, MD, both of the SOM, presented results of their $10,000 project, conducted in collaboration with four colleagues from the SOP, SON, and the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). “Rapid Response: An Interprofessional Approach” allowed nursing, pharmacy, and medical students to collaboratively manage a simulated patient (high-fidelity mannequin) through a series of enhanced acute-care scenarios.
The experience produced students who were “feeling confident to speak up and who understand that all members of the team have valuable input that they can contribute,” said Dittmar.
The collaborators would like to see such training using the simulated patients in the SON’s MASTRI Center become part of all the health professional educational programs at UMB. “It’s mind-boggling to me that we don’t do this on a regular basis,” said Retener.
Katherine Morris, LCSW-C, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) program director of social work at the Universities at Shady Grove, presented on a $9,000 project led by Rebecca Wiseman, PhD, RN, of the SON. Wiseman, Morris, and collaborators – including Congdon – from the School of Social Work (SSW), SOP, the Universities at Shady Grove, and UMBC brought students from UMB and UMBC together for eight-week summer internships at the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. Representing the four disciplines of nursing, social work, pharmacy, and psychology, the students observed interdisciplinary teamwork within the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.
“The whole idea was to at least introduce the concept [of interprofessional care] to students,” said Morris. “This was a learning experience more than an internship.”
Kerri Thom, MD, MS, of the SOM, collaborated with four colleagues representing the SOP, SON, SOM, and the Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System on the $9,000 project “Interprofessional Approach to Teaching Patient Safety and Quality Improvement at the Point of Care.” Teams comprised of students from multiple disciplines collaborated over case studies of actual patients in the medical intensive care unit to identify potential patient safety and quality improvement issues.
Research has estimated that as many as 100,000 Americans die annually because of medical errors, Thom said. “Patient safety is the responsibility of the entire health care team,” she added. If health professionals learn to work together and think critically about their own work and each other’s, maybe patient safety will improve, Thom explained. At the start of the project, 74 percent of the 43 students who participated in Thom’s study “admitted they weren’t sure of their own role in the health care team.”
After each of the seven three-week cycles of the program, “we did definitely see an improvement of their understanding in all aspects of patient safety,” Thom said.
Sandra Quezada, MD, MS, of the SOM, presented on her $8,000 collaboration with three colleagues from SSW and UMB’s Student Center for Global Education and Office of International Services. “Spanish for Health Profession Providers” was a new initiative that built on the framework of an existing SOM program with the objective of expanding access to Spanish education to students at all UMB professional schools.
Sarah Edwards, DO, of the SOM, spoke about her $6,000 project collaborating with five colleagues from SOM, SOP, SON, and UMMC. “The Pediatric TEAM (Training, Education, Assessment, and Management of Delirium) Program” worked to help medical, nursing, and pharmacy students learn collaborative care of children who are predisposed to and/or experiencing delirium in critical care settings.
Shannon Idzik, DNP, CRNP, of the SON, discussed her $5,000 project, a collaboration with three colleagues from SON and the School of Dentistry, called “Use of Simulation to Augment Interprofessional Learning in the Emergency Department.” The research brought together dental, dental hygiene, and nurse practitioner students in a clinical simulation focused on oral health of patients who present with non-life-threatening dental complaints in hospital emergency departments.