News and Commentary Macy Faculty Scholar Laura Hanyok on Interprofessional Education

Laura Hanyok, MD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, discusses her new interprofessional education program and the importance of team-based care.

What are you working on as a Macy Faculty Scholar and why is it needed?
It is more important than ever to align practice redesign and training for the next generation of health professionals. Right now, both our training and our payment systems are set up so that we don’t have the opportunity to collaborate together across different health professions as much as we should.

What I’m hoping to tackle with my project is to give our learners an experience of what it would be like in a new collaborative system, not based on how many patients you see in a day, but on how good the care is that you deliver to them measured in a variety of ways, including the patient’s experience.

If we don’t collaborate, we may miss out on opportunities to impact patients and their care. If we just think in our one mode of doctor or nurse or pharmacist, and don’t reach out to the other people to use their strengths, we’re limiting ourselves. It’s challenging because the system isn’t necessarily set up to be collaborative.

How will you do this?
The plan is to pilot the program in summer 2015 with two or three practices, and develop interprofessional training teams throughout primary care practices in the Baltimore area—both hospital- and community-based. Medical residents at each practice site will help train students and be co-teachers. Because Johns Hopkins does not have a pharmacy school, we’ll be partnering with Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Pharmacy.

I envision that the new care teams will be treating patients with several chronic medical issues, including behavioral and mental health challenges. There’s always a lot more to taking care of a person than just knowing about his or her immediate medical problems, and that’s something we’ll try to help our learners understand.

How is this unique?
This approach taps into the leadership qualities of residents. Residents want to make change and figure out how to make all of this happen. They are the perfect drivers and champions.

I think the leadership development piece we are providing resident physicians is an important part of this. Not only do you have to be able to do the teamwork yourself, you also have to figure out how to teach others. That, in my opinion, is one of the things that’s lacking in health professions education right now, although many people are working on it. We need to figure out how to teach people to go out into the communities they serve and set up interprofessional teams in lots of different practice settings.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
Being selected as a Macy Faculty Scholar is a huge opportunity. It provides me with the gift of time to do something that I wouldn’t have otherwise had time to do, as well as mentorship from other Scholars and leaders in health professions education.

In addition, the recognition from the Macy Foundation is highly valued within my institution, and may help open other doors as I work to develop more interprofessional education programs at Johns Hopkins.

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