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Collaboration boosts health care outcomes speaker says

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2016) – Dr. Nena Sanders lectured at California Baptist University about the importance of interprofessional education (IPE) in the area of health care on Feb. 16. 

Sanders was a speaker at the CBU College of Health Science Distinguished Lecture series. She serves as vice provost of Samford University's College of Health Sciences, is a fellow in the Healthcare Ethics and Law Institute at Samford University, and is an inductee into the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame. 

"(IPE) occurs when students from two or more professions or disciplines come together, learn about and from one another, work with each other, to improve health outcomes," Sanders said. 

Sanders said health care professionals too often operate without knowing or working across their specific occupational lines, which is "a mistake."

"Without collaborative practice, we will never, in the new environment, provide quality patient outcomes," Sanders said.

She said that roles and scopes in medical practices "are more alike than different," and that IPE will lead to the sharing of responsibilities, which she described as "creating a continuum of care, not slicing it." 

"For the first time in healthcare, we can redefine outcomes for patients, make their lives better," she said. "How are we going to do that? You. You're going to learn differently, you're going to practice differently and you're going to have a different sense of accountability about caring for those individuals." 

Dr. David Pearson, interim dean for the College of Health Science, said CBU students are taught from an IPE approach.

"Dr. Nicole MacDonald (associate professor of kinesiology) and our Athletic Training faculty have really led the College of Health Science into the IPE process," Pearson said.  "Their work with the School of Nursing has established the template off which we continue to build collaborative practice partnerships across disciplines."