Interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when two or more professions learn with, about, and from each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.
IPE prepares students from different health professions to work in a collaborative, team environment to provide highly effective patient- and population-centered care. Interprofessional teams enhance the quality of patient care, lower healthcare costs, decrease inpatient lengths of stay, and reduce medical errors. Patients receive safer, high quality care when health professionals work effectively in a team, communicate productively and understand each other's roles.
UB Interprofessional (IP) Forums educate future health care professionals to improve health care delivery through collaboration. Though the forums are designed for health care professionals to work interprofessionally and collaboratively, the knowledge and skills gained from participating in the small group discussion as well as the online module series on Foundations of Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCP) should translate seamlessly to all social work practice models, including macro practice settings. The Office of Interprofessional Education (IPE) hosts IP Forums in the Fall and Spring.
Before they graduate, all MSW students are required to participate in one Fall and one Spring IP Forum, along with completing IPCP modules (UBlearns Courses). This requirement is embedded in the field education (i.e., task to be completed) and students can earn up to 6 field hours (refer to the section, “How can we earn field hours for participating in IP Forums?”). All students (except those in full-time advanced standing programs) will have at least two opportunities to register for and participate in both fall and spring forums. If you are in the advanced standing program (either FT or PT), you will have one chance to participate in each Forum.
Fall IP Forum Day is on the first Thursday of November, while Spring IP Forum Day is on the first Thursday of March. A make-up day will be offered to those who pre-registered for the forum and completed pre-forum learning materials but could not participate in small group discussions for unanticipated reasons.
You will sign up and participate in one 90- to 120-minute session. There will be multiple session times available from which you can choose. Refer to the “Sounds great! How do I sign up?” section below on this page.
Generally speaking, IPE prepares students from different health professions to work in a collaborative, team environment to provide highly effective patient- and population-centered care. Interprofessional teams enhance the quality of patient care, lower healthcare costs, decrease inpatient lengths of stay, and reduce medical errors. Patients receive safer, high-quality care when health professionals work effectively in a team, communicate productively and understand each other's roles.
Specifically, IP Forums allow students to gain knowledge and practice skills on how to work effectively in practice settings that require interprofessional collaboration. This happens in an academic educational setting that promotes shared learning and skills building with students from many disciplines within and beyond healthcare settings (e.g., medical, dental, public health, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dietetics, pharmacy, athletic training, law, management, counseling psychology, nursing, social work, etc.). In addition, the skills and knowledge related to interprofessional collaboration are closely integrated into all social work competencies indicated in the 2015 CSWE EPAS.
During the first two weeks of the Fall and Spring semester, you will receive a series of email invitations to sign up for IP Forum. It will be a first-come, first-serve basis (up to 250 spots) so please be sure to act early to ensure your spot. The deadline to sign up is early in each semester due to the logistic complexity to assign nearly 1000 students to small group discussion sessions. It also helps to clear or adjust your schedule in advance so you can secure the time.
There are two main reasons. One is the logistics of assigning nearly 1000 students into small discussion groups represented by students from as many disciplines as possible. Another reason is that we want to give students plenty of time to review and complete pre-forum requirements leading up to the IP Forum Day.
You still can graduate on time without completing the IP Forum participation requirement at this time. However, you will not be able to earn Digital Badge 1: Interprofessional Collaborative Practice - Foundations. Having this digital badge in your resume indicates your proficiency to practice in settings that require interprofessional collaboration, which is almost all social work settings.
You will need to discuss this with your field educator at the beginning of the academic year as you complete the learning contract for your field placement. Each forum participation can count for up to 6 hours of field. Reviewing learning objectives and activities for Digital Badge 1 (IPCP Foundations) may be useful to understand how this requirement can be incorporated into your field learning contract.