Developing an Interprofessional E-Learning Pathway: Leading Academics Through the Change Challenge

Developing an Interprofessional E-Learning Pathway: Leading Academics Through the Change Challenge

P. A. S. Bluteau (Coventry University, UK) and J. A. Jackson (The University of Warwick, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-889-0.ch013
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Abstract

Implementing interprofessional education is fraught with challenges, developing an e-learning approach whilst overcoming some challenges, is still not smooth. This chapter using a case study approach offers an insight into the successful development and implementation of an interprofessional e-learning pathway. The chapter draws on the authors’ experiences of the challenges and constraints in setting up this model. By unpacking these challenges the reader will be offered the opportunity to explore the impact on two Higher Education Institutes and the professional groups working within these organisations. It highlights the difficulties associated with managing change and the importance of strong leadership at key points within this process.
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Background

Interprofessional working is dependent on individual professionals having a sound understanding of the roles, skills, knowledge and guiding philosophies of other professions (Gordon & Walsh, 2005). In the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Coventry University in collaboration with Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, there are fourteen separate courses leading to registration as a qualified health and social care professionals, and hence a great opportunity to learn with, from and about students from other professions. The process of the different groups discussing their own roles and insights with others helps to celebrate the unique skills and knowledge that each profession brings to an integrated model of patient, client, care or service user care.

This case study draws on the authors’ experiences of the first year of developing and implementing an Interprofessional e-learning Pathway (IpeLP) in which eleven of these different professional groups participated, with Social Work, Youth Work ans Operating Department Practitioners joining later. (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Participating students in the level 1 IPLP module – September 2005 to January 2006 Cohort.

The process of developing a model in relation to the challenges that have surrounded the inception and development of IPE demands the inclusion of some context in which to frame the important components of IPE. Collaboration is a major component of IPE (Barr, 2009; Barr, 2005; Yan et al., 2007; Jackson & Bluteau, 2009). The underlying concept of IPE is to teach future professionals to work collaboratively within health and social care teams so that they are able to deliver quality care to each and every patient/client/service user (Barr et al., 2005). Whilst there is good evidence (Reeves et al., 2008, Hermsen et al., 2005, The Audit Commission 1999, Wilcock et al., 2000) to support the belief that collaboration through teamwork does indeed improve the quality and continuity of patient centred care, there are many challenges that hinder this process.

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