Spring 2021 Newsletter
By Shawn Drake, PT, PhD, JoAnna Cupp, MS, RDN, LD, Brinda McKinney, PhD, MSN, RN, Lori Gatling, MSN, RN, CHSE
Arkansas State University
The College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) at Arkansas State University and Center on Aging-Northeast partnered in 2004 and started the Healthy Ager Program (HAP). The objective of the HAP is to promote interprofessional educational and collaboration (IPEC) opportunities for health professions students’ while working with community-dwelling, older adults (Healthy Ager). The service-learning program provided students the opportunity to practice clinical skills learned in the classroom and apply their knowledge to improve the health and wellness in the older adult. COVID-19 heavily impacted the continuation of the HAP in Spring 2020. The program was suddenly halted, leaving the faculty with the question of how or if this program could continue.
COVID-19 forced the HAP faculty to think “outside the box” to develop a meaningful, service-learning experience for healthcare students and the Healthy Ager, while maintaining COVID-19 restrictions. In Spring 2021, the HAP moved to an online platform using Zoom. Student learning modules included exposure, immersion and mastery activities related to IPEC competencies focused on the older adult. Interprofessional teams comprised of students from nursing, physical therapy and nutritional science programs.
Exposure activities included introducing students to:
1) IPEC competencies1 (communication, roles and responsibilities, values/ethics and team-based practice),
2) Quadruple Aims2 (improved clinician experience, better outcomes, lower costs and improved patient experience),
3) Multidisciplinary Competencies for Older Adults3,
4) 4 M’s in the Care of Older Adults4 (what matters, medication, mentation, mobility), and
5) Team Strategies & Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety5 (TeamSTEPPS)
The exposure activities were reinforced during Zoom activities, which included online simulation events (SBAR communication, dementia simulation) and collaborative sessions on home assessment, cultural competency and telemedicine.
Students participated in immersion activities through the use of Standardized Participants (SP) using Zoom as the telehealth platform. Each team was assigned an SP, who was over the age of 60 and was instructed to “act as themselves”. Each team completed an assessment using the 4M’s and provided interventions that focused on improving the 4Ms and Quadruple Aims for their SP. At the completion of each activity, small and large group debriefing occurred with the SP and faculty facilitator. The simulation activity allowed students time to practice telehealth presentation skills in a non-threatening environment, receive feedback on their team’s performance and implement changes before the real-life scenario.
Each team will participate in collaborative practice with their Healthy Ager in April. Team will provide an educational video and educational patient-specific pamphlet for their Healthy Ager which will allow for each team member to meet mastery level of IPEC competencies. In addition, the service-learning project allows for the Healthy Ager to improve his/her health and wellness with the expertise of each team.
The HAP has transformed itself in light of COVID-19 for the better. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the HAP positively transformed. The new format allows the learner to meet the IPEC competencies, geriatric competencies, and practice telehealth.
1. McKearney, Shelley. “IPEC Core Competencies.” Interprofessional Education Collaborative, www.ipecollaborative.org/ipec-core-competencies.
2. “ACTS Supports the Quadruple Aim.” ACTS Supports the Quadruple Aim | AHRQ Digital Healthcare Research: Informing Improvement in Care Quality, Safety, and Efficiency, digital.ahrq.gov/acts/quadruple-aim.
3. Author(s): Todd P. Semla, John O. Barr, Judith L. Beizer, Sue Berger, Ronni Chernoff, JoAnn Damron‐Rodriguez, Charlotte Eliopoulos, Carol S. Goodwin, Catherine L. Grus, Kathy Kemle, Ethel L. Mitty, Kenneth Shay, Gregg A. Warshaw. “Multidisciplinary Competencies in the Care of Older Adults at the Completion of the Entry-Level Health Professional Degree.” National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, 2 June 2020, nexusipe.org/informing/resource-center/multidisciplinary-competencies-care-older-adults-completion-entry-level.
4. “What is an Age-Friendly Health System?:IHI”. Institute for Healthcare Improvement. www.ihi.org/Engage/Initiatives/Age-Friendly-Health-Systems/Pages/default.aspx
5. “TeamSTEPPS®.” AHRQ, www.ahrq.gov/teamstepps/index.html