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J Interprof Care. 2015;29(5):476-82. doi: 10.3109/13561820.2015.1030068. Epub 2015 Jun 29.

E-Learning with virtual teammates: A novel approach to interprofessional education.

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a College of Nursing, New York University , New York , NY , USA .
b School of Medicine, New York University , New York , NY , USA .
c Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University , Boston , MA , USA .
d New York Simulation Center , New York , NY , USA , and.
e Division of Educational Informatics , New York University , New York , NY , USA.


The Institute of Medicine identified interprofessional education (IPE) as a key innovation for achieving the triple aim of better care, better outcomes, and reduced healthcare costs. Yet, a shortage of qualified faculty and difficulty with aligning learners' schedules often prevent sustainable and scalable IPE. A virtual IPE intervention was developed to circumvent these barriers and compared to a blended-learning IPE intervention. We used a pre-test and post-test design with two comparison interventions to test the effects of these IPE interventions on changes in teamwork knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The interventions were delivered to pre-licensure learners at a large, metropolitan medical and a nursing school. We used one-sample and independent-sample t-tests to analyze data from 220 learners who received the blended-learning intervention in 2011 and 540 learners who received the virtual learning intervention in 2012. The students in the blended-learning intervention did not significantly (pā€‰<ā€‰0.05) outperform the students in the virtual learning intervention for any of the measured outcomes, except for medical students' attitudes around team value. Virtual IPE learning is an effective, scalable, and sustainable solution for imparting foundational teamwork knowledge in health profession students.


Interprofessional education; medical students; nursing students; teamwork; virtual learning

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