We have launched Inohana IPE in 2007
Challenges Surrounding Today’s Medical Care
Medical care has rapidly become sophisticated and fragmented in recent years, creating situations that are referred to as “medical care without the presence of the patient,” which is far from patient and service user-centric medical care. As a result, there is actually disconnect so that even through the medical care itself is sophisticated, it is not something that patients and service users want to receive. Considering that medical care is for patients and service users, there is no point in keeping them out of the loop.
In order to provide patient and service user-centric medical care, it is necessary to build a medical system where all medical professionals can coordinate and cooperate to constantly offer high-quality medical care. Furthermore, in order to provide services under ever-changing medical care, it is not enough to supplement the weakness of each other’s profession; a relationship to understand and improve each other’s competency is necessary. In other words, each medical professional must possess not only sophisticated expertise but also skills to cooperate, which is the foundation for personal, trusting relationship and respect to understand the expertise of other professions and improve each other.
However, the reality is that there are some cases where professionals work in an uncoordinated fashion even though they are in the same space. It keeps them from demonstrating the expertise they have mastered and, as a result, they become mentally isolated and exhausted under hectic schedule and are forced to leave the job. The vicious cycle—the turnover rate among new physicians and nurses remains high and results in the shortage of physicians and nurses which further increases the burden and the sense of limitation in the clinical setting—is growing. Needless to say, the workplace must be improved; however, in order to prevent isolation and coordinate/cooperate while fully utilizing own expertise, one must personally have communication skills, ethical sensitivity, and problem-solving skills. Communication skills, which becomes particularly essential, are required in the society as a matter of course.
The Sense of Crisis at Chiba University’s Medical-related Undergraduate Schools
Chiba University has three, same-sized, medical-related undergraduate schools—School of Medicine, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and School of Nursing—on the Inohana Campus. Chiba University is also the only national university in terms of the long history and tradition that each of these three undergraduate schools has for respective academic field. With unique history, culture, and independent education system each undergraduate school has established, we have worked on education to pursue sophisticated expertise and produced numerous graduates.
It is true that we have consciously worked hard to develop students’ problem-solving skills as professional. However, when it comes to communication skills and ethical sensitivity, we were merely teaching rudimentary knowledge and not providing adequate education to link to practical skills. In other words, Chiba University did not have an undergraduate curriculum for mastering skills to cooperate with others and other professions and rarely held exchanges or cooperative education activities across undergraduate schools.
Reflecting on such situations, we came to think an initiative that goes across these conventional, independent undergraduate education systems was necessary in order to fill in the gap between the skills required in today’s medical settings and the skills developed by medical education. And so we began working on developing an education program for students from these three, medical-related undergraduate schools to study together to master cooperative competencies such as communication skills, ethical sensitivity, and problem-solving skills.
Launching Inohana IPE
As a curriculum for resolving these issues in medical care and medical education, we are going to focus on interprofessional education, or IPE.
School of Nursing, the first to take a note on IPE, obtained discretionary budgets from the Dean of School of Nursing in FY 2005 and then from the President of Chiba University in FY 2006 and visited the United Kingdom where there are some advanced model universities for IPE. School of Medicine and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences joined in later and, as we further researched and considered, we became convinced of the need to develop autonomous healthcare professionals who can promote interprofessional work, or IPW.
Subsequently, after seeing cases of pioneering initiatives in Japan and reviewing literatures, we used these insights to develop an IPE program for three medical-related undergraduate schools of Chiba University—School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences—and launched it in May 2007.
Later, we obtained aids for the “Educational Program for Training Autonomous Healthcare Professionals: Human Resource Training Emphasizing Interprofessional Collaboration” for FY 2007 to FY 2010 from the Support Program for Contemporary Educational Needs (Contemporary Good Practice) funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in October 2007 and aids for “Strengthening the Foundation for Continuously Developing Healthcare-related Human Resources with Advanced Skills of Interprofessional Work” for FY 2011 to FY 2013 from the Special Expenditure Project (Training Highly-Specialized Professionals and Enhancing Functions of Specialized Education) by MEXT in FY 2011. In this way, we are working on to develop autonomous healthcare professionals to provide patient and service user-centric medical care as we continue and expand.
Inohana IPE-related Chronological Table
|Events Related to the Development Process of Inohana IPE
|Chiba Town Community Hospital was founded along with hospital’s medical school
|Reorganized as Chiba Prefecture Medical School and Medical School Hospital
|First Advanced Junior High School Faculty of Medicine Department of Pharmacy was established
|Renamed as China Medical Training School Department of Pharmacy
|Promoted to Chiba Medical College
|Chiba Medical College Specialized Department of Pharmacy
|Chiba Medical College Department of Pharmacy was inaugurated
|Chiba University School of Nursing was established
|Department of Medicine’s Hospital was completed
|Master’s program was established under Graduate School of Nursing
|CAIPE in the UK was established to promote IPE
|Doctoral program was established under Graduate School of Nursing
|A special committee was established to investigate Bristol Royal Hospital’s malpractice
|University of Southampton’s IPE “New Generation Project” was launched
|Murder of Victoria Climbié in the UK
|School of Nursing faculty members began collecting information on IPE in the UK
|Discretionary expenditure of Dean of School of Nursing
|The charter of Chiba University was formulated
|School of Nursing faculty members participated in the IPE program at University of Leicester in the UK
|Discretionary expenditure of President of Chiba University
|Saitama Prefectural University obtained aids for their IPE project from the Support Program for Distinctive University Education and the Support Program for Contemporary Education Needs
|University of Leicester faculty member from the UK spoke at the IPE lecture on the Inohana campus
|Deans of School of Nursing, School of Medicine, and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences generally agreed on launching IPE at the Inohana campus
|The first IPE prep meeting among faculty volunteers from three undergraduate schools. IPE offered at Chiba University was named as Inohana IPE
|Academic affairs committees of three undergraduate schools agreed to launch an IPE program on the Inohana campus in the following fiscal year
|Faculty development related to IPE was held at School of Nursing. 50 individuals participated from three undergraduate schools
|The establishment of Chiba University IPE Promotion Committee was decided
|Chiba University Inohana IPE Step 1 was launched
|Inohana IPE obtained aids for the Educational Program for Training Autonomous Healthcare Professionals: Human Resource Training Emphasizing Interprofessional Collaboration from the Support Program for Contemporary Educational Needs (Contemporary Good Practice) by the MEXT
|Support Program for Contemporary Educational Needs (Contemporary Good Practice) by the MEXT
|Chiba University Inohana IPE Step 2 was launched
|Japan Association for Interprofessional Education (JAIPE) held the first conference “IPE for Who and What?”
|JAIPE’s second conference “Developing Professionalism and IPE” was held at Chiba University Keyaki Kaikan
|Chiba University Inohana IPE Step 3 was launched
|End of Chiba University Inohana IPE’s Contemporary Good Practice aids
|A project to develop scales for evaluating practical IPE skills and its operational system was initiated
|Discretionary expenditure of President of Chiba University
|Chiba University Inohana IPE Step 4 was launched
|The inaugural class of Chiba University School of Nursing IPE graduated. 39 graduates obtained jobs as nurse at the University Hospital
The Strengthening the Foundation for Continuously Developing Healthcare-related Human Resources with Advanced Skills of Interprofessional Work project was launched
Special Expenditure Project by MEXT