After a decade of collaboratively providing interprofessional education, Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach Atlantic University, identified a need to focus on the clinical learning environments to model the competencies in practice. While advances in clinical practice have been made to foster effective healthcare teams, students reflected that they often did not see the IPE core competencies modeled in practice. Educators surmised this might be due to discipline specific educational differences or by providers who did not get any exposure in their educational programming/training curriculum.
Responding to this need, Florida Atlantic University’s colleges of medicine, nursing and school of Social Work, and Palm Beach Atlantic University’ school of pharmacy partnered to identify the clinical sites for each of their discipline health professional students. Using GIS mapping software, we located clinical sites where two or more professions were already present. This nexus provides a forum in which there are opportunities to educate healthcare providers for team-based care, and for students to serve as catalyst/agents of change within these clinical environments. Additionally, students will be applying what they learned in their IPE curriculum to improve team efficiency and effectiveness and ultimately contribute to achieving the goals of the Quadruple Aim.
The process of heat mapping using GIS software lays the foundation for a unique interprofessional approach to enhancing clinical learning environments. This novel strategy in highlighting the clinical sites across two academic institutions where multiple professions are present, offers an opportunity to improve patient care. The use of evidence based communication tools, demonstration of interprofessional competencies and implementation of strategies to improve team collaboration will positively impact patient care.