The Institute of Medicine (IOM) conference, The Interrelationships of Educational Programs for Health
Professionals, explored whether health care could be enhanced through improved interaction between health professionals. A lack of synergistic interrelationships between all the professionals contributing to the patient’s well-being was identified. Therefore, one goal of the conference was to identify strategies to better prepare future health professionals to work cooperatively.
The Conference Assumptions:
Health professionals are not prepared to function in health care teams:
Traditional perceptions of roles and misinformation about colleagues in other professions, along with a lack of a common language, interfere with productive team dynamics.
The institutions training the health professions were struggling to find a rationale and process for collaborating together.
Students are more apt to become cooperative practitioners when opportunities to experience working together happen while still in school, in valid models of cooperative health care delivery.
Cooperative efforts must be reinforced by seeing cooperative practice, behavioral models among faculty.
Faculty have a responsibility to develop new skills in Interprofessional teaching.
The Conference Report:
Educating for the Health Team suggested that:
“The needs of patients and communities can be better met by the use of teams.”
“Teams have no real social utility (though) unless they meet the needs of individuals or
communities more efficiently, more effectively, more economically, more humanely, and in a more personalized way.”