Report from the ASCO Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Summit

Dr. Melissa A. Vitek
Member, ASCO Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Committee
Director, International and Continuing Education, Salus University

In alignment with its strategic objective to identify and share best practices in interprofessional education with member institutions, the ASCO Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (IPECP) Committee convened a national Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Summit in February at Marshall B. Ketchum University. More than 70 people attended. All 23 ASCO member institutions sent representatives, and many brought “a buddy” representing a non-optometric healthcare profession.

Representatives from the following organizations also participated in the summit:

• American Academy of Optometry

• American Optometric Association

• Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry

• National Board of Examiners in Optometry

• Center for Advancing Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research

• Indiana University Center for Interprofessional Health Education and Practice

• U.S. Veterans Administration

Sponsors for the summit included:

• Allergan Eye Care

• Johnson & Johnson Vision Care

• Alcon Partners in Education

• Hoya Vision Care

The non-optometry summit participants represented nine professions:

• audiology

• allopathic medicine

• dentistry

• health administration

• nursing

• osteopathic medicine

• pharmacy

• physician assistant

• social work

Dr. Kevin Alexander, President of Marshall B. Ketchum University, and Dr. Gerri Lamb, Director of the Center for Advancing Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research, each delivered inspirational and thought-provoking keynote addresses. IPECP Committee Chair Dr. Jennifer Coyle, with the assistance of the other committee members, enthusiastically led the summit attendees through a variety of substantive interactive activities, including a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Lamb.

Attendees also participated in small group breakout sessions with subsequent large group presentations on the topics of best practices, assessment tools and future trends for IPE and interprofessional practice (IPP). Near the end of summit, participants met with individuals from their home institutions to discuss plans for the implementation of IPE and/or IPP efforts in a “taking it back home” exercise. Volunteers from each institution shared their plans for implementation with the large group.

Summit attendees completed attitudes and perceptions surveys before and after the summit. The data from the surveys is undergoing statistical analysis. Some general comments attendees shared in the post-summit survey are as follows:

“IPEP is the way healthcare should go and seems to be going in other professions … optometry should not settle with old routines … our schools is (sic) where we can make the change.”

“As a ‘buddy,’ I found ASCO’s leadership in this regard to be impressive, inspirational, yet warm and gracious. You are a trend-setting organization with a welcoming attitude and an open, patient-focused agenda. It was a privilege to be a part of the summit. So please continue your leadership! And thank you!”

“The future of healthcare IS interprofessional, collaborative, patient-centered care. If we are not teaching our students how to practice in that environment, our profession will rapidly become marginalized and irrelevant.”

“If the summit characterizes ASCO’s involvement in IPE, then I think they should certainly maintain that level of involvement and also push for a better evidence-based understanding of what curriculum strategies work. I thought the IPE Summit was wonderful. Very thought-provoking and great to hear what others are doing. I left with an improved understanding of IPE and IPP and a head full of ideas. Thank you to those that organized the event. It was very appreciated. Great job!”

The ASCO IPECP Committee is committed to facilitating member institutions in incorporating or expanding IPE in their curricula, providing recommendations for the assessment of related outcomes, and raising public and professional awareness of the role optometry has in team-based, collaborative patient-centered care. The committee will continue to explore ideas for effective initiatives to meet its objectives, including the potential for conducting another IPECP Summit.