Improving patient outcomes using interprofessional learning will be the focus tomorrow (30 Jan), as international expert Professor Ruby Grymonpre from Canada’s University of Manitoba comes to Griffith.

Professor Grymonpre, whose expertise lies in interprofessional education (IPE), will discuss the importance of preparing students for person-centered IPE and collaborative practice, at the IPL Symposium and workshops at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus.

Held by Griffith University Health Institute for the Development of Education and Scholarship and the Australian and New Zealand Association of Health Professional Educators, the events are organised by Associate Professor Gary Rogers, Program Lead in Interprofessional Learning for the Health Group.

A new learning strategy

Associate Professor Rogers is expecting lively discussion at the events which are aimed to demonstrate the benefits of the new learning strategy to academics and health professional educators alike.

“We are extremely excited to welcome a guest as internationally renowned in IPE as Professor Grymonpre to Griffith.

“Interprofessional learning is all about improving patient outcomes and cost-effectiveness by making health care more person-centred and collaborative between the various health disciplines,” Associate Professor Rogers said.

“If we can assist healthcare workers to work together like this for the long term, then we are confident of a significant improvement in patient outcomes.”

Griffith health students this year will be among the first to benefit from a wealth of cutting-edge facilities at the Gold Coast University Hospital and the new Griffith Health Centre.

The ten-floor Griffith Health Centre will open the doors to an interdisciplinary learning environment that will also give students the opportunity to use facilities at the Gold Coast University Hospital across the road.

Libby Carr, director of Adult Community Programs at Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service said the organisation welcomes the opportunity to benefit from Griffith’s new learning strategy, as it prepares to offer student placements which incorporate the competencies they will need to work in interprofessional teams.

“We have identified that we can produce much better patient outcomes if we work in interprofessional teams, coordinating health care together.

“One of our aims currently is to reduce the hospital admissions of patients with chronic conditions and help them to be cared for within the community.

A broad skills base required

“Medicine is just one part of the issue; for many patients it could also include dietary, mobility or family and social issues. A broad skills based is therefore required by our health professionals and so we’re now providing students with exposure to the whole range of healthcare expertise needed by the community.

“It is early days yet, but we are keen to explore new working models such as students working collaboratively with senior staff to increase service capacity.”