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Centers of Excellence Primary Care Education

Transforming clinical education and preparing health professionals
to work in and lead patient‐centered interprofessional teams

Coordinating Center Blast Newsletter

Coordinating Center BLAST News Links                                                           November 29, 2012

ACTIONS: Nothing This Week!


Note: The Institute of Medicine Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education be broadcast live this week Thursday and Friday. Dr’s. Malcolm Cox of OAA and Kathy Rugen of the Centers of Excellence Coordinating Center will be presenting on Friday, November 30th. View

Melanie NashBoise Center of Excellence, Primary Care Education Holds First Interprofessional Training Retreat  
Interview and story by Julia Kurpakus, CoEPCE Coordinating

Steven WhiteBoise Center of Excellence Primary Care Education hosted an interprofessional training retreat in September. The retreat was lead by Boise’s CoE co-director, Melanie Nash MSN, NP-C and held at the Barber Park Event Center with 35 champions in attendance. Due to Barber Park and Boise’s highly nature-centered atmosphere, the retreat was named Distinctly Idaho: An Organic Approach to Team Development. 

Melanie reflected on the Center’s first year in action and about the significance of the retreat and stated, “We had no idea how team members were educated, how to work together, and how to build the trust necessary to open up dialogue and team cooperation.” These challenges became essential goals for the training retreat and included strategies to: 1) establish a foundation for team trust and; 2) establish better interprofessional communication and collaboration. To support these goals a team assessment survey was sent out prior to the meeting and exercises and tools were chosen to contribute to an environment that would bring participants out of their comfort zones while keeping everyone on the same playing field. Steven White, PhD, a psychologist for the TeamWorks division of the VA’s National Center for Organizational Development (NCOD), was present to discuss the assessment with the staff and trainees. In describing the effect that Dr. White had on the group, Melanie explained that she was thankful for Dr. White’s strong emphasis on teamwork and creative methods to support good communication. She stated “His presence in the retreat was a highlight and his influence on the team approach and personal development were invaluable to the team members.”

Following retreat introductions, Kattie Payne, PHD RN and Scott Smith, MD, Boise CoE co-director, presented the Boise EFECT model pilot to the group. (The EFECT model is a five-step framework: Elicit narrative, Facilitate group meeting, Evidence-based gap analysis, Care plan, Track effectiveness). Melanie describes this model as “a way for a team to work together on behalf of a patient, see the different perspectives that each team member brings to that patient’s care, and to develop a plan with the team and the patient.”

To help illustrate this model and bring it into perspective for the team members, Melanie employed the help of a local thespian group, Shakespeare Idaho. The actors offered team-building exercises that appeared nonsensical at times, but it brought the team together through creating a sense of relaxation while illustrating key points. Other useful activities involved verbal and non-verbal communication that stressed the importance of paying attention and focusing on someone who is communicating with you.

For the second part of the day, the group broke down the play Macbeth into parts. Each group had to decide how to act out their roles to enforce team cooperation. The second day began with psychology staff member, Winslow Gerrish, PhD, discussing two different surveys regarding character and personality styles. It was optional for team members to share the results regarding their own personality and character traits as assessed by the surveys, but it had come to the point that everyone was open and willing to share about their personality and style. The activity further demonstrated every team member’s unique personality and approach to the same situation. That afternoon, a botanist came and demonstrated the different languages of communication. The botanist’s illustration, identification and classification of plants, allowed the team members to look at the evidence presented and try to communicate it to each other; this was difficult at times because many did not know the correct plant terminology. This demonstration reinforced the idea that every discipline has a different approach (and language) and supported that sometimes learning a new language can be necessary for improved communication.

Steven White Caption

Melanie reported that the retreat was a great learning opportunity leading to improved teamwork and ultimately patient care. She noted that retreat evaluations generally reflected the experience as useful and that improvements in teamwork and communication were evident almost immediately in the clinical setting. She stated that several team members have credited the team building exercises with an improved ability to approach their colleagues and dialogue about important issues and she believes that Distinctly Idaho: An Organic Approach to Team Development retreat a very valuable experience to all who were involved.

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