Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Irish healthcare professionals learn about the benefits of working as a team at RCSI masterclass

11 June 2017

On Tuesday 23rd May, healthcare professionals from all over Ireland, including doctors, pharmacists and nurses, attended a masterclass at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) where they learned about the multitude of benefits of team-working in healthcare delivery to patients, professionals themselves and to the healthcare system in general.
RCSI's School of Pharmacy hosted this Interprofessional Collaboration (IPC) masterclass in partnership with East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Faculty of Health Sciences, based in the USA. The one-day event, entitled ‘The Journey to Team-Based Healthcare', was hosted alongside the Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIOP).
Interprofessional collaboration is a partnership between a team of health providers and a client in a participatory collaborative and coordinated approach to shared decision making around health and social issues.

Healthcare professionals who attended on the day got the opportunity to explore ETSU learnings in this crucial area and identify potential pathways to improved IPC within the Irish context through the use of structured focus groups. This event represented a unique opportunity to facilitate learning and knowledge in an increasingly essential area to meet the complex challenges of the Irish healthcare system.
IPC is becoming increasingly important in the delivery of healthcare between multidisciplinary teams. Training future and existing healthcare professionals to work in such teams will help facilitate the IPC model, resulting in improved healthcare outcomes for patients and RCSI's School of Pharmacy is committed to ensuring that such an approach is central to the training and education of its undergraduate pharmacy students. As part of the ETSU visit, faculty took part in a discussion, hosted by Dr Catriona Bradleu of the IIOP which focused on the theme of developing increased collaboration amongst healthcare professionals. Take the time to listen to this fascinating podcast here. 
Speaking on the event, Professor Paul Gallagher, Head of the RCSI School of Pharmacy, said: "Interprofessional collaboration is an area of particular strength and focus for ETSU, of which six members of faculty from across medicine, nursing and pharmacy, attended to present at the masterclass. One of the key learnings of this masterclass was that merely putting different team members together does not change approaches or attitudes in healthcare. Our healthcare professionals need to learn together and break down silos to have any impact on healthcare delivery. We were delighted to welcome our colleagues from ETSU, who showcased examples of IPC implemented within their own jurisdiction and conveyed the benefits to both healthcare professionals and patients in attendance."
The keynote speakers on the day included Dr Reid Blackwelder, Professor of Family Medicine and Interim Department Chair at the Quillen College of Medicine at ETSU, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians and family physician in Kingsport, Tennessee; and Dr Brian Cross, Associate Professor and Vice-Chair for the Department of Pharmacy Practice at ETSU Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. You can watch their keynote address below.

RCSI's School of Pharmacy and Bill Gatton School of Pharmacy, located at East Tennessee State University, have been in academic partnership since 2013 and believe that through staff and student interaction and exchange there can be significant learning for both institutions across a number of key areas. It is one of only 19 institutions in the US and the only one in Tennessee with colleges of pharmacy, medicine, nursing, and public health on the same campus. 
RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.