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Slide Presentation from the AHRQ 2007 Annual Conference

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"Health Professions Education: Building the Bridge to Quality"

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  • Health professionals not adequately prepared
    • No foundations in informatics
    • Not educated in interdisciplinary teams
    • Expanding evidence bases

"All health professionals should be educated to deliver patient-centered care as members of an interdisciplinary team, emphasizing evidence-based practice, quality improvement approaches, and informatics."

The above quotation is from the book: Health Professions Education—Building the Bridge to Quality.


*The book Health Professions Education—Building the Bridge to Quality—is the aspect of cultural transformation that I will be focusing upon today.
*Coming from academia—I am all too familiar with intransigent cultures, the difficulty in fostering change, and the challenges of getting folks to adopt new ways of teaching. In other words, my experience is that faculty do not like their cheese moved.
*I have taught in different schools, nursing, medicine, information sciences -- obviously, this is a cross-cutting challenge in need of cross-cutting change.

This important publication makes the point that Health professionals are not adequately prepared to face the workplace realities.
We know that the educational foundation in informatics is either absent or woefully insufficient.
Once in practice, health professionals are asked to work in interdisciplinary teams, often to support those with chronic conditions, yet they are not educated together or trained in team-based skills.
These same clinicians are confronted with a rapidly expanding evidence base, upon which health care decisions should ideally be made, but we are not consistently schooling our students in
how to search and evaluate this evidence base and apply it to practice. Nor do the IT enabled systems that we are installing support real world workflow that blends such evidence into the normal process of care.

The conclusion of the IOM reports and subsequent publications around health education sector reform is this: <CLICK and READ>
*One of the important points made by the authors of this book is that "browbeating" professionals to work and try harder is not an adequate solution to address the healthcare system flaws and future challenges. In their words "reform around the edges" (or trying to leap a 20 foot chasm with two 10 foot jumps) will not solve our quality problems. Instead the need is for cross-cutting change that moves us with the speed of change that our students are experiencing once they leave the protection of academia.

So, many of us know and understand these points, yet this publication is now 5 years old, and I would say that except for a few pockets of innovation here and there—these changes are on a very slow path to adoption.

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