The impact of the IOM Report: Health Professions
To date, health professions education faces a vital need for improving the quality and safety of patient care. Collaborative efforts are needed to shift to a truly competency-based education. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) (2001), health professionals should perform five core competencies entrenched in the Quality Chasm report. In this regard, IOM aims to redesign the health professions education system with a focus set on patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, interdisciplinary teams, quality enhancement, and informatics (Greiner & Knebel, 2003). According to the committee’s estimates, a competency-based approach to education is expected to improve the quality of patient care. Furthermore, incorporating the set of core competencies has the potential for improving efficacy due to enhanced communication channels, streamlined processes, and reduced redundancies.
The first recommendation refers to achieving overwhelming consensus on the set of core competencies, including patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, interdisciplinary teams, quality improvement, and informatics. An increasing concern about patient safety and a related consumers’ desire for enhanced accountability raises the need to integrate core competencies into oversight processes. It is also important to place a great deal of emphasis that globalization facilitates greater interaction among health professionals of different countries exacerbating the need to assess clinicians over the same competencies regardless of where they get their education. The competency-based approach requires more than just revising curricula and programs. It requires rearranging the physical environment of the classrooms, with a transition from fixed to movable seating, roving microphones, and electronic personal digital gadgets. Success depends on the desire and readiness of the faculty and students to improve interaction by incorporating active learning and problem-based learning techniques. Ensuring adequate communication channels for providing systematic feedback from students is one of the key success factors.
The second recommendation is attributed to incorporating of the set of core competencies into oversight processes. In this regard, Department of Health and Human Services is suggested to hold the meetings during which to actively solicit the ideas of health professionals on the requirements set for the new system, test them wherever possible at the early stages of the development to ensure that they are appropriate, comprehensible, and not overly cumbersome. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the National Committee for Quality Assurance are suggested to keep the core set of competencies updated to best serve the needs of health professions education.
The third recommendation calls upon coordination of efforts of accreditation bodies to modify the set of core competencies so that all health professionals can practice their expertise and exploit new technologies to the fullest extent (Safriet, 2002). A great deal of emphasis is set on the lack of consensus in approach across the health profession or within a certain profession across the states. Therefore, there is a vital necessity to join efforts of public and private licensing organizations in building a uniform system.
The fourth recommendation requires from all licensed health professionals to systematically pass reassessment of the quality …