ASHA’s Strategic Pathway and You: Focus on Objective 2 ASHA’s roadmap for achieving the association’s vision and mission—the “Strategic Pathway to Excellence”—sets out eight strategic objectives and a number of operational priorities to meet them. The goal is to advance the way audiologists and speech-language pathologists provide services, the way others perceive and value those services, the science underlying ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   February 01, 2016
ASHA’s Strategic Pathway and You: Focus on Objective 2
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Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   February 01, 2016
ASHA’s Strategic Pathway and You: Focus on Objective 2
The ASHA Leader, February 2016, Vol. 21, 58-59. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.21022016.58
The ASHA Leader, February 2016, Vol. 21, 58-59. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.21022016.58
ASHA’s roadmap for achieving the association’s vision and mission—the “Strategic Pathway to Excellence”—sets out eight strategic objectives and a number of operational priorities to meet them.
The goal is to advance the way audiologists and speech-language pathologists provide services, the way others perceive and value those services, the science underlying service delivery, and the composition of ASHA membership. ASHA staff are guiding work toward these objectives through 2025, when ASHA will be 100 years old. The Envisioned Future document describes this centennial vision.
ASHA members’ efforts are integral to the strategic objectives and the Envisioned Future outcomes. Each month, the Leader examines one of the objectives and how a member is addressing it.
Objective 2: Advance interprofessional education and practice
Loretta Nunez, ASHA director of academic affairs and research education, “owns” and explains the effort to educate members about interprofessional education and practice (IPE/IPP) and provide the tools and resources members need to effectively participate in or lead interprofessional teams: “IPP results in better outcomes, greater satisfaction and more cost-effective care for individuals and their families in health care and education,” she explains.
“IPE/IPP is a team-based approach to health care or education. It involves the provision of care by two or more professions or disciplines. All of these approaches involve the application of expertise and communication among those providing the care. It involves regular interaction and communication to plan, implement and sustain an optimal plan of care, and features open, nonhierarchical communication and team reflection facilitated by any team member.”
According to Nunez, successful IPE/IPP features high-functioning, synergistic teams that display open communication, trust, respect, role clarification, conflict resolution and facilitative leadership to achieve a shared vision for treatment.
With IPP leading to improved outcomes, Nunez says, “Audiology and speech-language pathology students and practitioners need to learn how to be more effective IPP team members. IPE education includes a common set of values that each profession adopts and practices, and the skills needed to facilitate or work effectively on a team. At its most basic level, IPE provides opportunities to learn about and interact with other professions to foster understanding, respect, trust and communication.”
Massachusetts General Hospital and the MGH Institute of Health Professions provide an example of IPE/IPP approaches in patient care.
Rebecca Santos Inzana, MA, CCC-SLP, MGH clinician and MGH Institute of Health Professions instructor
At MGH, interprofessional collaboration is part of our everyday practice. In addition to participating in routine communications between team members throughout the day, SLPs are regularly involved in more than two dozen multidisciplinary efforts across the hospital, from inpatient floor rounds to specialized outpatient clinics.
Recognizing that IPP is essential to positive patient outcomes, MGH partnered with MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP) to create an interprofessional experience for our graduate students, one of several IPE initiatives within the MGH Institute curriculum. In the Interprofessional Clinical Experience (IPCE) at MGH, the next generation of SLPs, physical and occupational therapists, physician assistants, and nurses from MGH Institute participate in a unique program housed in two Interprofessional Dedicated Education Units within the hospital. Supported by hospital and IHP administration, and led by nursing and speech-language clinical faculty coordinators, we have trained select MGH physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and nursing staff to become interprofessional instructors.
The goals of the IPCE focus strictly on developing interprofessional competencies:
  • How to develop trusting relationships with patients, families and team members, conveying compassion, empathy and respect during interactions.

  • How the team’s communication and actions promote the patient’s goals and plan of care.

  • Who, where, why and when team members choose to communicate and collaborate with one another.

  • How different disciplines’ roles and responsibilities can optimize care or create barriers to effective and collaborative care.

Changes to the original program, which started in 2012, maximize cost-effectiveness and increase the number of students able to participate. Recently the team received a grant from MGH’s physician-run Executive Committee on Teaching and Education, allowing us to develop a custom toolkit for training the interprofessional educators.
Student feedback has been tremendously positive—they appreciate the new perspective on team member roles and responsibilities as well as the opportunity to witness a team-based approach to patient care. They can verbalize how they will incorporate what they’ve learned into their own future practice. The staff instructors are also enthusiastic—they view themselves as pioneers in this cutting-edge IPE model, remark they would have liked such an opportunity when they were in school, and see their own collaborative practices growing as a result of the intentional focus on interprofessional competencies.
Gauging Interprofessional Effects
What is the impact of interprofessional education on collaborative practice and patient outcomes—and how do we measure this? The Institute of Medicine tackles these questions in a 2015 report (bit.ly/iom-ipe-report) that identifies a number of research questions as critical to advancing knowledge of the effects of interprofessional education and collaboration across a range of learning environments, populations and practice settings. The report also recommends study designs to answer these questions.
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February 2016
Volume 21, Issue 2