UT Health unveils plan to enhance interprofessional education

UT Health San Antonio is proud to announce Linking Interprofessional Networks for Collaboration (LINC), an institution-wide effort to enhance interprofessional education (IPE) for health science center students.

LINC is a direct outgrowth of our reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). A Quality Enhancement Plan such as LINC is a required element of the reaffirmation of accreditation process.

Two town halls have been scheduled to inform the university community about LINC. They are on March 15 and March 23, from noon to 1 p.m., in Pestana Lecture Hall.

UT Health recognizes the increasingly interprofessional nature of health care. As an institution that constantly seeks ways to better prepare health care professionals and scientists, it sees interprofessional education as a necessary part of training for professional practice and research in the health sciences.

Building upon existing interprofessional efforts, LINC will establish numerous resources on campus over a five-year implementation period. These include:

  • An IPE incubator, which will provide resources for faculty and students to work together to develop interprofessional learning activities;
  • An IPE database, enabling students to easily find interprofessional activities outside of their own field of study;
  • The IPE symposium, bringing speakers and workshops on interprofessional collaboration to UT Health;
  • A host of curriculum resources and support for incorporating IPE into programs of study.

Interprofessional education is defined by the World Health Organization as “two or more professions learning with, from, and about each other to improve collaboration and the quality of care.” Interprofessional care teams are increasingly the standard within patient care, where nurses, specialists, and other health care providers collaborate to treat patients and promote health. Enhancing the interprofessional education of students will better prepare them to be effective providers and leaders in health care.

SACSCOC is the regional accrediting agency that determines if higher education institutions meet acceptable levels of educational quality. Reaffirmation takes place every ten years and generally guarantees other institutions accept earned academic credits students.

UT Health San Antonio will be visited by a team of SACSCOC reviewers on March 27-29.

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