As the healthcare system of the United States becomes more complex, collaboration among health professionals is becoming an essential aspect in improving the health of individuals and populations. An interprofessional education course entitled “Health Care System and Health Promotion” was developed to allow health profession students to work and learn together about issues related to healthcare delivery, health promotion, and the effect of policy issues on key stakeholders in the system. A qualitative document analysis research design was used to evaluate the effect of this interprofessional course on students’ views of the current healthcare system of the United States.
Fifty-nine student articles were analysed using document analysis. Health professions represented in the sample included occupational therapy, physical therapy, athletic training, nursing, and radiation therapy, nuclear medicine technology, and magnetic resonance imaging. Eight themes were identified including: increased personal awareness, the need for a system change, concern for access, affordability of healthcare, vision for future practice role, need for quality care, the value of interprofessional collaboration (IPC), and the importance of disease prevention.
The results of the study suggest that healthcare education can benefit from the integration of Interprofessional Education (IPE) courses into their curriculum especially when teaching content common to all healthcare professions such as healthcare systems and health promotion.