Problems with measurement
The scientific quality of the SciTS is measured in the traditional scientific ways with an emphasis on conceptual validity, study design, methodological rigor, measurement of outcomes, and protection against biases (Boaz& Ashby, 2003; Lohr, 2004; Shavelson & Towne, 2002). However, the SciTS has additional criteria to measure including the quality and scope of the cross disciplinary integration as evidenced by new conceptual models and innovative methodological strategies (Stokols et al., 2006). In addition, team science requires assessment and measurement as to what impact the team science had on scientific discovery, clinical application, and policy perspectives ...view middle of the document...
Interprofessional education is a strategy that can be used to enhance the development of effective interprofessional teams and thus improve health care delivery. The goal of IPE is for students to learn how to function as part of an interdisciplinary team and incorporate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of IPE into their future practice, ultimately providing better quality and safer patient care through interprofessional collaboration (Buring et al., 2009).
Currently, there is a lack of strong evidence to support IPE as an effective strategy to improve patient safety and health care outcomes. This challenge is echoed by leaders in the field of quality improvement who have identified shortcomings, such as a lack of rigorous research methods, a failure to study contextual variables, and weak evaluation designs (Stevens, 2012; Orvetitir, 2011). This is not to suggest that IPE is ineffective in changing practice or influencing patient care outcomes, but rather that such controlled intervention studies are perhaps more difficult to design and implement and hence are not attempted (Nisbet, Lee, Kumar, Thistlewaite, & Dunston, 2011). Policy makers and other leaders will be more likely to support IPE if they have robust evidence indicating that such practices lead to improvements in quality, safety, cost, and patient and provider satisfaction (Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel, 2011).
Team science is extremely relevant to IPE, and patient safety, as many questions regarding IPE’s effectiveness and best practices remain unanswered (Hall & Weaver, 2001). Ideally, multiple disciplines including, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, aviation, economics, psychology, communications, and translational science, can collaborate and integrate skills and knowledge in order to inform IPE research. Specifically, team science would inform IPE as to: 1) how to structure trans-disciplinary undergraduate collaboration and research, 2) the most effective ways to develop and utilize interprofessional health care teams, 3) the optimum time to begin IP training, how often maintenance education should be implemented and 4)most importantly, how to evaluate and measure patient safety and health care outcomes that result from IPE. Additionally, the SciTS could inform universities as to how to transform their campuses by breaking down the existing academic silos, and build innovative interprofessional education and research centers.
In the current IPE research, there is a huge variation in educational interventions and measured outcomes, as well as studies using small sample sizes. A team science approach could be invaluable in aggregating large datasets and executing sound research designs with the scientific rigor necessary to establish an IPE evidence base.
I recommend team science to be incorporated in academia, in order to train and develop future researchers in trans-disciplinary research. There is an enormous amount of information on-line...