The Interprofessional Care in Geriatrics program evolved from a long history of interprofessional work in geriatrics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).
Coming Together for a Common Cause:
Faculty and staff from at least four schools -- namely, the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Work -- have focused on single, intermittent programs in which students and faculty come together to use case-based approaches for teaching.
In Fall 2014, the program envisioned building on that history, knowledge, and strength, and applying it to clinical settings and providing team-based care to meet the needs of residents at Mount Clare Overlook Apartments -- a local high-rise senior housing community in west Baltimore. Depending on the discipline, graduate and undergraduate students enrolled either as part of their required clinical course work or via an independent study.
The residents are such a pleasure to work with. Many of them await the IPE team when they arrive. Many days of the week, the students engage in a variety of functions. Having their blood pressures taken, medications reviewed, or listening to a theme talk are all part of what the residents there experience. However, one Thursday each month, the residents have their exercise day.
Bringing Our Work into the Community:
One of the most recent activities hosted by the program took place on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. The team from the Interprofessional Care in Geriatrics program joined hands with the School of Physical Therapy and Baltimore City for a “Health and Balance Awareness Day” using the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Death, and Injury (STEADI) guidelines, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The team was able to help many individuals with various problems related to their risk of falling.
We envision this experience to ultimately become embedded in each professional school’s curriculum. In the real world, working with the most complex cases of patients alongside the most specialized of teams is not always easy because most are trained to become the best in their fields with little or no appreciation of “the other.” Interprofessional education and practice “occur when two or more professions learn with, about, and from each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.”1 Hence, we strive to reach that among our respective disciplines.
Drs. Nicole Brandt and Daniel Mansour represent the Peter Lamy Center on Drug and Aging at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy on the Interprofessional Care in Geriatrics team.
Reporting Real Results:
The goal of the UMB_APP initiative is to apply interdisciplinary education into a real work setting and provide team-based care to meet the needs of a local high-rise senior housing community. Its implementation involved three steps: (1) interdisciplinary education of students from the Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Social Work; (2) planning and implementation of clinical work; and (3) ongoing evaluation of clinical work. Download the full report here (PDF).
1 IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2015. Measuring the impact of interprofessional education on collaborative practice and patient outcomes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.