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Bridging the Clinical, Academic Gap Won't Be Easy

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, April 11, 2013

Specifically, educators and healthcare providers should develop coordinated metrics to evaluate the impact of care models used in academic and clinical settings to improve population health management and reduce costs, the Macy report suggests.

Proper protocols need to be developed to advance the Triple Aim goals: better care, better health, and lower costs. The report further notes that there is now a "paucity of rigorous measures to evaluate the impact of linking interprofessional education and collaborative practice."

In addition, the report states that accreditation and certifications themselves pose barriers to efficient and effective team-based care. They attribute that, in part, to regulatory policies that generally "lag behind advances in healthcare education and clinical quality improvements."

While the report's language advocating change is strong, Thibault concedes that change will not come easily, in part, because education programs and clinical programs are now so entrenched.

"A whole lot of things need to change," he says. "We hear from some of the leaders of the integrated healthcare systems that are further along with delivery and they say 'trainees aren't prepared to work in these models, we have to retrain them.'"

Thibault proposes a solution: "My feeling is, 'Get them there in the first place, do their initial training in these care models, with their education."

As for the Macy Foundation, it suggests convening a national group to identify effective methods for patient and community engagement, beginning with a public-private partnership of federal agencies, and a private foundation.

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