Interprofessional Clinical Learning Environment (IPCLE) Symposium
October 13-14, 2017 - Chicago, Illinois

On October 13 and 14, 2017, the National Collaborative for Improving the Clinical Learning Environment (NCICLE) hosted a symposium on the interprofessional clinical learning environment (IPCLE) to facilitate a national conversation on how to ensure that clinical learners embrace interprofessional collaboration and learning throughout their careers. The symposium was designed to solicit input from a broad range of stakeholders in the clinical learning environment. Symposium participants included content experts who were nominated by NCICLE members, the NCICLE IPCLE symposium planning group, and the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education.

Big-Picture Approach

The primary goal of the symposium was to describe characteristics of an optimal IPCLE. To achieve this goal, the symposium was structured to be dynamic and collaborative, beginning with a “gallery walk,” during which participants were asked to review and reflect upon a gallery of posters highlighting current issues relevant to health care. Topics included in the gallery ranged from climate change to medical tourism to big data. The exercise was designed to set context for the symposium: health is a part of our everyday lives, and the delivery of health care demands a big-picture approach.

Value and Characteristics of an Optimal IPCLE

Participants were asked to describe the IPCLE’s value for patients, learners, academic centers, and hospital systems. Then, they were prompted to consider how characteristics of an optimal IPCLE exhibit themselves at the (1) micro (ie, clinical service units), (2) meso (ie, hospitals and clinics), and (3) macro (ie, the larger health system) levels.

Advancing the Model

Subsequent discussions focused on IPCLE characteristics that are a function of executive leadership and governance, ways that external entities might view IPCLEs, and key milestones necessary for achieving an optimal IPCLE

Next Steps: Continuing the Conversation

A summary document containing key findings from the symposium, as well as opportunities for next steps in developing optimal IPCLEs, will be released by the end of 2017. NICICLE sincerely thanks all of the IPCLE participants and hopes that their work will serve as a springboard for energizing and aligning other national efforts in this area—toward the goal of improving the educational experience while optimizing patient care.
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