Implementing interprofessional education and practice: Lessons from a resource-constrained university.

Interprofessional education is seen as a vehicle to facilitate collaborative practice and, therefore, address the complex health needs of populations. A number of concerns have, however, been raised with the implementation of interprofessional education. The three core concerns raised in the literature and addressed in the article include the lack of an explicit framework, challenges operationalising interprofessional education and practice, and the lack of critical mass in terms of human resources to drive activities related to interprofessional education and practice. This article aims to present lessons learnt when attempting to overcome the main challenges and implementing interprofessional education activities in a resource-constrained higher education setting in South Africa. Boyer’s model of scholarship, which incorporates research, teaching integration, and application, was used to address the challenge of a lack of a framework in which to conceptualise the activities of interprofressional education. In addition, a scaffolding approach to teaching activities within a curriculum was used to operationalise interprofessional education and practice. Faculty development initiatives were additionally used to develop a critical mass that focused on driving interprofessional education.

Lessons learnt highlighted that if a conceptual model is agreed upon by all, it allows for a more focused approach, and both human and financial resources may be channelled towards a common goal which may assist resource-constrained institutions in successfully implementing interprofessional activities.