The purposes of this program:
1. Train an interprofessional team of patient safety champions in patient safety knowledge, attitudes, skills, and quality improvement techniques; and
2. Foster interaction among trainees in clinical, teaching and research domains.
The team is composed of a clinician or researcher in any health care or related discipline, a nurse, pharmacist, and physician.
- Fellows participate in the VA National Center for Patient Safety’s Fellow orientation course, the IHI online open school curriculum on patient safety and quality improvement, and select classes at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in addition to clinical practice, assigned readings, and projects in quality improvement, innovation, and/or research.
- Outcomes: one group project and an individual project.
- The team is expected to disseminate their patient safety knowledge and experience through educational activities at the Milwaukee VAMC and publications.
- Graduates are expected to assume leadership roles in patient safety.
Interprofessional education can facilitate healthcare professionals’ and researchers’ understanding about each other’s role in patient care and promote effective communication skills in complex healthcare systems (Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel, 2011; Institute of Medicine, 2003, 2015; World Health Organization, 2010).
To date, 24 nurse, pharmacist, and physician fellows have graduated and taken positions such as patient safety manager and performance improvement coordinator as well as leadership roles. New funding increased our Fellow positions and expanded the opportunity to all disciplines and professions. Patient safety training using an interprofessional framework leads to professionals who are competent in their ability to collaborate interprofessionally and foster improvements in patient safety. Educational sources and content areas are illustrated below.
The program is held at the Milwaukee VA medical center and the Medical College of Wisconsin. The medical center delivers primary, secondary, and tertiary care to Veterans with over 723,000 outpatient visits and 10,000 hospitalized patients annually. Treatment programs include substance abuse rehabilitation, psychiatric rehabilitation, post-traumatic stress disorder treatments, a spinal cord injury / disorder unit, and a women’s health clinic, among many specialty areas.