Physical Therapy professor works at the forefront of interdisciplinary training

Pt Students 00032As interprofessional education or IPE, has become more widespread among health care disciplines, one professor in The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s Department of Physical Therapy once again finds herself at the forefront.

Dr. Myles Quiben was named vice chair of the newly formed Interprofessional Education and Practice, or IPEP, Special Interest Group. She is also a founding member. The newly formed group exists within the American Physical Therapy Association’s Academy of Education, a national member-run nonprofit dedicated to advancing physical therapist practice, education and research.

According to material published by the organization, the purpose of the IPEP is to serve as a resource and forum for members of the Academy of Education, who value and champion interprofessional education and collaborative practice in all facets of the physical therapy profession. IPE occurs when two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. IPE has been shown to support the quintuple aim of enhancing the care experience, improving population health, reducing costs, improving healthcare care wellbeing, and advancing health equity.

“If you work in a hospital or a setting working jointly with other health care professionals, you have participated in IPE and interprofessional collaborative practice,” Quiben said. “But, as a profession, we never formalized what we’re doing with IPE until the last 10 years. There’s been a stronger call among physical therapists for formalizing it.”

As of 2019, CAPTE, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, incorporated IPE as a requirement for accreditation for entry-level PT programs nationwide.

The IPEP was formed after the National Interprofessional Education Consortia of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy was dissolved. Quiben was the chair of that group of dedicated physical therapists committed to advancing IPE and IPCP.

“We needed a place to continue the work of IPE and showcase what we’re doing in academia, clinical practice, and everything else,” Quiben said. “We were fortunate to find a home in the Academy of Education in APTA.”

The group’s first official meeting was in February at the recent APTA Combined Sections Meeting in Boston. During that conference, the group decided on its goals:

  • Foster networking and collaboration among physical therapists and physical therapist assistants interested in IPE and IPCP
  • Engage in initiatives that support IPE and IPCP innovation in physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education and clinical practice
  • Contribute to a culture of innovation, intellectual engagement, and leadership in the Academy of Education to support IPE and IPCP endeavors
  • Facilitate excellence in IPE education through collaboration with external IPE organizations
  • Disseminate information related to interprofessional collaborative practice to the physical therapy community in coordination with the Academy of Education

“Myles has played an invaluable role in ensuring the sustained vitality and growth of the IPE PT network, thereby fortifying its significance within our profession,” said Dr. Kimberly A. Beran-Shepler, chair of the IPEP Special Interest Group, and assistant professor of PT at Creighton University.

Quiben has pioneered IPE between professions and within PT. She serves in the university’s IPE Curriculum Committee and Seniors Assisting in Geriatrics Education, or SAGE, Committee. Working with Dr. Beverly McNeal, assistant professor at the Department of Physical Therapy, they hosted two other Texas-based colleges that train physical therapy assistants. Quiben guessed around 80 outside students were on campus in the Regional Simulation Center, in addition to the 49 first-year PT students. They plan to repeat the exercise this year.

She and other HSC faculty are also writing a chapter in a book about best practices in physical therapy education. Among the topics they’ll cover are IPE and simulation.

“The call for IPE happened many moons ago, way back in 1999 when the Institute of Medicine called for practitioners to address errors in health care,” Quiben said. “The World Health Organization and other organizations acknowledge the shortage of health care workers, the inadequacies of current health care systems in communications, quality, and patient safety; there’s something wrong with health care. One of the things we need to do is look at how we communicate better and how we work as a team in health care. These were issues in health care 20 years ago. And guess what? We’re still working on it right now. We need to strengthen the training of faculty in IPE/IPCP best practices and reinforce the competencies essential for the future healthcare professionals to succeed in an interprofessional healthcare environment: communication, teams and teamwork, roles and responsibilities, and values and ethics.”

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