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IPE at Otago

General introduction

For a general introduction to IPE at Otago, see our brochure:

The brochure can also be found in hard copy from the IPE Centre. Please email (limited numbers only).

IPE conceptual model at Otago

The IPE conceptual model was first developed in 2017, drawing on literature and models in the field. The model was reviewed in 2018, and continues to be reviewed from time to time, to ensure it accurately captures Otago’s shared understanding of interprofessional education.

The conceptual model incorporates these core ideas:

Contextual drivers

  • The contemporary global context for health care is driven by needs for sustainability, efficiency and high-quality care for patients/clients.
  • The New Zealand context for health care is driven by special obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi, and the particular needs of Māori, Pacific, rural and disadvantaged populations.
  • Health and education systems share contextual drivers and respond through innovation and partnership to support changes in health delivery systems.

Interprofessional capability

  • Health and education systems centre on the needs of the patient/client/family/community.
  • Health and education systems are bridged by a capability framework for pre- and post-registration professionals: the IPE competencies lay the foundation for effective collaborative practice to optimise clinical outcomes.
  • Capabilities developed through IPE in health professional programmes are applied and consolidated collaboratively in clinical and workplace settings.

Learning progression

  • IPE competencies (capabilities) are acquired through stepped levels, as students and professionals progressively learn with, from and about each other.
  • Interprofessional learning may be serendipitous in a range of settings, and valuably augment more formal planned learning.
  • IPE requires planned interaction and formal learning activities scaffolded through the curriculum, and assessed to support progression.
  • IPE competencies are acquired to support and integrate with Otago / Health Sciences graduate profiles.
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IPE Quality Framework

The IPE Quality Framework was consulted during 2019 and ratified in April 2020.

Key components of the Framework are summarised below.

IPE common language

Common language terms around interprofessional (IP) education and practice aid common understanding for teachers, practitioners, and learners.

IPE longitudinal curriculum

A longitudinal curriculum is developed for pre-registration students and:

  • Fits institutional complexity and regulatory requirements
  • Is designed to be adaptive, responsive, and sequential.

IPE learning activities are progressive in intended learning outcomes over the course of study.

IPE competency domains

  • IP communication
  • Role clarification and appreciation
  • Reflective practice, incorporating IP principles, values, ethics
  • Teamwork and team functioning, including conflict negotiation and resolution
  • Collaborative leadership and followership
  • IP co-ordination and shared decision-making.

At IPE learning-activity-level, selected IPE competency domains form the basis of assessment.

IPE credit equivalence system

The IPE credit equivalence system is student-centered and transparent.

Students accumulate IPE credits on the basis of workload hours, complexity of learning, and expected learning outcomes.

IPE Register

The online IPE Register will:

  • Support a co-ordinated, yet flexible, IPE system and equivalence process.
  • Record and accredit IPE learning activities.
  • Capture students' IPE participation for the purpose of their permanent academic record.

Support to IPE staff and partners

Systems will be developed so that staff contribution IPE teaching:

  • Is recognised, supported and resourced at Departmental, School, and Divisional level, and
  • Across the continuum of IPE activities, including IPE partners and associations.

IPE evaluation

  • Evaluation is based on an appropriate mix of outcomes-based instruments, interviews and focus group data.

IPE student journey

The students

IPE at Otago involves health professional and social care professional students from Otago, and from a range of partner tertiary education institutions. For example:

  • Otago health professional students currently have IPE opportunities after completing the Health Sciences First Year which precedes their health professional programme, e.g. Dentistry, Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy.
  • Some Otago students have IPE opportunities from their first year of study, either at undergraduate (e.g. Oral Health, Radiation Therapy) or postgraduate-entry level (e.g. Dietetics, Nursing).
  • It benefits Otago students to learn interprofessionally with, from and about health/social care professional students from other disciplines in programmes offered by partner institutions around the country, e.g. Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Paramedicine, Social Services, Social Work, Speech Language Therapy.

The IPE journey

Otago students’ interprofessional learning progresses through the course of their degree in activities at three levels of learning:

  • Exposure – an IPE learning activity that is case-based or problem-based, but does not need to involve patients/clients either simulated or actual.
  • Engagement – an IPE learning activity that involves patients/clients either simulated or actual, but not in a clinical workplace where care is undertaken.
  • Immersion – an IPE learning activity that is based in a clinical workplace where students participate in usual care; the term ‘complex immersion activity’ is used to denote an extended clinically-based rotation/block module.

As the IPE Quality Framework is rolled out from 2020, students will begin to accumulate IPE credits from their participation in IPE activities, on the basis of:

  • Workload hours
  • Complexity of interprofessional learning, and
  • Expected learning outcomes

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Examples of IPE activities at Otago

At Otago, an IPE activity:

  • Involves students from two or more professions (preferably three or more)
  • Involves IPE-trained staff, from two or more professions wherever possible
  • Includes at least one explicit interprofessional learning outcome – preferably more than one
  • Involves interactive learning
  • Assesses at least one interprofessional competency domain (see table above).

IPE activities are offered at each of Otago’s Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Invercargill campuses, as well as at some regional and rural clinical sites.

For a full listing of IPE activities at Otago as at end-2019:

IPE Non Communicable Diseases Module

This is an example of an IPE exposure activity, offered in Dunedin.

The Module has run since 2017, and now involves 9 health professional programmes from Otago (Year 3 Dentistry, Oral Health, Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy, and Year 1 Master of Dietetics) and the Otago Polytechnic (Year 2 Nursing, Occupational Therapy and Social Services).

The overall aim of the module is to demonstrate commitment by the University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic to excellence in teaching and learning, and advancing IPE, by providing the students enrolled in the health professional degree programmes with knowledge and understanding in the management of smoking cessation and a range of chronic/non-communicable diseases in New Zealand, in a collaborative learning environment.

Students learn in interprofessional groups of approximately 15 students each, with at least 3 disciplines in each. Subgroups develop a management plan for one of three possible cases, and each of the three groups present their ideas back to the others.

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InVoLVE – Interprofessional Visits to Learn Interprofessional Values through Patient Experience

This is an examples of an IPE engagement activity, offered in Wellington by the Wellington Interprofessional Teaching Initiative (WITI).

InVoLVE is delivered in a three-part form embedded within each discipline’s curriculum including an introductory class, an independently undertaken home visit to a person with multimorbidity and a final class presentation. Classroom time typically includes a mix of social interaction, small group work, teaching about content and in the initial class, support is given to assist students to prepare for the home visit and to undertake the presentation.

Read more about WITI here

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Tairāwhiti Interprofessional Education Programme (TIPE)

This is an example of a complex-immersion IPE activity, in a regional setting.

TIPE Team-20180831-HighResThe Tairāwhiti Interprofessional Education Programme (TIPE) is a complex immersion programme for final-year health professional students. It was developed in response to a Ministry of Health request for proposals, with the long-term goal of increasing recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals in rural and remote locations in New Zealand.

TIPE is jointly administered by the University of Otago and the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), and includes dentistry, dietetics, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, oral health, pharmacy, physiotherapy, and—since 2017/18—paramedicine, social work and speech language therapy students.

Students from each health discipline are based for five weeks in the region (Gisborne or Wairoa). They study and work together in rotational groups. Educational objectives for the programme relate to hauora Māori, rural health, interprofessional education, and chronic conditions management.

The programme was initially funded for a three-year period from 2012, with funding renewed and currently obtained up to the end of 2021.

Read more about the Tairāwhiti Interprofessional Education Programme (TIPE)

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