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Abstract

Background/Rationale - East Tennessee State University developed four interprofessional (IP) team-based education and practice clinics from within an already established network of nine nurse-managed clinics. The purpose of these IP clinic teams is to build capacity for interprofessional practice (IPP) and deliver effective health management to patients with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) through evidence-based practice to improve health outcomes in underserved populations.

Description of Innovative Approach - This project took the innovative approach of acknowledging the specialized knowledge, skills, and contributions of nursing, pharmacy, and nutrition specialties, empowering each discipline to be an active decision-maker in the healthcare team. The IP team embedded themselves in existing nurse managed clinics, conducting “student led” clinics at the various sites. A Clinical Fellows Model was utilized to enhance the students learning experience and to promote IPP upon graduation.

Challenges and Strategies of IP Team Development - During the first year of the project, the IP team overcame barriers with purposeful strategy which has created unique opportunities for the remaining grant period. Challenges and barriers were overcome with attention to building team collaboration through education and familiarity with working in the interprofessional setting.

Discussion – The Clinical Fellows Model was derived from four IP competencies: roles and responsibilities, values and ethics, teamwork, and communication. The student led IP clinics have grown in the number of sites and disciplines supporting East Tennessee State University’s vision of true interprofessional education and practice for managing patients with MCC.

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