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Inter-Professional Education for Collaborative Practice in Health Care

Tesfamicael Ghebrehiwet


Today’s health care delivery is increasingly complex and the complex needs of patients demand that health professionals communicate and collaborate to deliver the best care. Governments around the world are looking for innovative solutions that will ensure the appropriate supply, mix and distribution of the health workforce. One of the most promising solutions can be found in inter-professional education (IPE) and collaboration. IPE occurs when students from different professions learn together at some point during their training in order to prepare them to work together in health teams. Unfortunately most health professional training institutions provide little or no opportunity for IPE. Effective inter-professional education (IPE) fosters respect among the health professions, eliminates negative stereotypes, and fosters a team approach in health care. At the same time quality of care is improved when health professionals learn together. 

These considerations mean that the approach and content of medical, nursing and other curricula must adapt to adequately prepare health professionals to practice within the health team model. This will require the implementation of well-planned educational strategies; so that health professionals learn together in order to work together in coordinated manner to deliver person-centred and team-based health care. The paper highlights key issues in IPE and its benefits in the delivery of quality health care and improved patient safety through collaborative practice.


Inter-professional education, team approach in health care, collaborative practice, health outcomes, shared values.

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