Interprofessional Education or IPE occurs when students from more than two professions are educated together. Students and educators from healthcare professions, for instance, may be learning together with those of other professions. The aim of IPE is for the students to be able to develop their own competency and build their skills whilst working with those from other professions, before graduating. The expected benefits from IPE are that the students are able to draw on their experience from IPE for self-development, and gain skills that allow them to cooperate with people from other occupations that they have worked with, after graduation (Interprofessional Practice: IPP). This should result in a better healthcare system for everyone who uses it (Improved Health Outcomes). For Thailand, the importance of IPE became clear when it was included in the Strategic Plan for Health Care Professionals’Education for the 21st Century (2014 – 2018) in 2014. A committee to drive the Strategic Plan for educational development was established for health professionals of the 21st century. There was also a sub-committee for IPE with members from nine professional healthcare institutions. It was responsible for moving forward and applying IPE policies which are to be conducted in educational institutions.
Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahasarakham University started our own IPE activities in 2015 and we have continued on into the present day. The teaching methods for inter-professional education are conducted in accordance with the philosophy of the institution, which is to serve society with community-minded. The main activity for 2nd and 3rd year students consecutively was personal patient home visits. The first program was conducted by co-operation between three faculties. These were the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Architecture, Urban Design and Creative Arts at Mahasarakham University (Ploylearmsang C et al, 2021). At present, such co-operation has been extended to include six faculties, with the Faculty of Information Technology, the Faculty of Nursing and the Faculty of Engineering respectively.
In 2018, a co-operation IPE program, was established with the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, resulting in the creation of Inter-professional Education (IPE) Home-Care Visits: Lessons Learned from IPE program in Thailand under the US-Thai Consortium. IPE patient home visit activities were arranged for students from the University of Maryland, USA, from four professions, which were: Medicine, Nursing, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Social Welfare, with one representative from each profession, totaling four representatives. They were joined by students from Mahasarakham University, Thailand, who were from six professions, with two representatives per profession, totaling twelve representatives. IPE activities were conducted continuously with participation from all of the students for five days. The outcomes were that the students from both countries acquired knowledge and holistic viewpoints. They also gained skills which aid teamwork and efficient communication within a team, as well as with patients. Cross-cultural learning and creative initiation were also achieved which, in turn, increase the quality of life for patients at home and in their community.
Home-based IPE at MSU is not only an initiative out-reach activity for quality assurance in education, but also a strategic move for making a good partnership with patients and their community. We have signed MOU with the Burapha medical center and the Muang Municipality, Maha Sarakham for our commitment on serving people in the communities through IPE implementation. You can learn our learning from this website, Students’ activities clip and our publications.
Ploylearmsang C, Seehanart C, Chaiyatham D. 2019. Outcomes and Benefits of Interprofessional Education. Isan J Pharm Sci. 16(3) July – September:1-14.
Ploylearmsang C, Tongsiri S, Poophalee T, Kamwan W, Bupachai U, TookJit S, Promraksa A. 2019. Interprofessional Education for Humanized Elderly Home Care: A Collaboration among 6 Faculties, Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Veterinary Science and Architecture, Urban design and Creative arts, Mahasarakham University (IPE@MSU). Proceedings of the 11th National Conference on Persons with Disabilities (NCPD 2019) Innovation and Universal Design for Inclusive Society. King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang. [Accessed 2019-11-05]. http://www.ncpd2019.kmitl.ac.th/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/full-paper.pdf.
Ploylearmsang C, Tongsiri S, Pirikannont M, Srisaknok T. 2021. Effects of Home-Based Care Inter-Professional Education on Students’ Outcomes: Mahasarakham University Experiences. Med. Sci. Educ. 31(2):677-685.
Ploylearmsang C, Tongsiri S, Pirikannont M and Srisaknok T. 2021. Lessons learned from the achievement and implementation of interprofessional education in Thailand. Int J Med Educ. 12: 125-126.
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