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Collaboration and Communication in Healthcare: Interprofessional Practice

University of California, San Francisco via Coursera

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Interprofessional collaborative practice is essential to the provision of safe, high quality patient-centered care. This course will introduce health professions learners to the concept of interprofessional collaborative practice and the evidence base that supports its effectiveness. In order for learners to better understand the professionals with whom they will collaborate, specific modules will focus on the roles of various healthcare professionals, their scope of practice, and settings in which they work. Additional modules will focus on communication strategies and tools for effective interprofessional collaborative practice and learners will practice to gain competence in interprofessional communication, conflict management and negotiation. Finally, the course will introduce the concepts of leadership and membership and explore leadership and membership strategies to promote effective interprofessional teamwork.    


Week 1 - What is it all about? Introducing core interprofessional concepts

  1. Define interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional collaborative practice.
  2. Discuss the evidence regarding benefits of interprofessional collaborative practice, including the impact on quality and safety of patient care.
  3. Compare and contrast different forms of interprofessional collaboration.
  4. Discuss factors that influence interprofessional collaboration.
  5. Describe key elements of effective interprofessional team-based care.
  6. Identify barriers to interprofessional collaborative practice.


Week 2 - Who is on my team? Understanding roles, responsibilities and abilities of different professions

  1. Describe the roles, responsibilities and abilities of various health care professions involved in collaborative work, including their training and scopes of practice.
  2. Describe one’s own professional role in relation to collaborating with other professionals.
  3. Describe the process by which the scope of practice for a healthcare professional is determined.
  4. Discuss and describe the role of patients, their families and community representatives as integral partners in the collaborative care delivery process.
  5. Assess how different clinical settings might affect roles and responsibilities of health professionals.


Week 3 - How will our work get done? Understanding communication, accountability and task distribution.

  1. List the benefits of collaborative practice to your work.
  2. Describe the importance of communication for effective collaboration.
  3. Name essential elements of effective communication.
  4. Demonstrate use of strategies and tools that facilitate effective communication and collaboration.
  5. Identify ways to distribute and follow-up on tasks among interprofessional health care providers.


Week 4 – How to tackle challenges: Conflict management and negotiation

  1. Describe the sources of conflict in the healthcare setting.
  2. Describe two main types of conflict and how they are interrelated as well as impact team functioning.
  3. Compare and contrast different styles of managing conflict.
  4. Describe one’s own conflict management style.
  5. Demonstrate a three-step approach to managing conflict.
  6. Describe communication strategies helpful in the management of conflict.


Week 5 – How can we work together? Leadership and Membership

  1. Define clinical leadership.
  2. Discuss leadership functions that facilitate team-based health care.
  3. Describe the concepts and importance of psychological safety and leader inclusiveness.
  4. Analyze one’s own strengths, areas for development, and leadership style.
  5. Define team membership styles and their impact.
  6. Demonstrate use of strategies and tools for effective healthcare team leadership and membership.

Taught by

Maria Wamsley, MD, Angel Chen, Josette Rivera and Susan Hyde


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