Promoting Social Accountability Through Interprofessional Continuing Development

jic  The June 2008 supplement of the Journal of Interprofessional Care is a special issue entitled Promoting Social Accountability Through Interprofessional Continuing Development: An Experience of the Canadian Medical Schools. There are two articles in particular that might interest readers of this blog [subscription required]:

Fleet LJ, Kirby F, Cutler S, Dunikowski L, Nasmith L, Shaughnessy R. Continuing professional development and social accountability: A review of the literature. J Interprof Care 2008;22 Suppl 1:15-29. 
The idea that health professionals should be accountable to the society they serve is not a new concept and by the 1990s, the continuing professional development (CPD) of health professionals was being seen as one way in which Canadians’ level of health could be improved. The public was, and is still today, increasingly demanding a system that is more responsive to regional and community needs. As a result, there is a need for more health professional education at all stages of the education continuum – undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing professional development – that meets the health and social needs of the populations being served. The trend is now towards ‘socially accountable’ health care, meaning that the broader context of CPD must also include the personal, social, and political aspects of health care and as such, involve a widening of accountability to patients, the community, managers and policymakers. CPD planning must take into account local and national priorities as well as personal learning needs. However, the definition of social accountability and the stages at which it is addressed is sometimes vague and this added to the difficulty of identifying relevant studies in the literature. Nonetheless, there were some “best practices” evident via Canadian and American studies which focused on models of socially accountable CPD, as well as examples of interdisciplinary collaboration in Canada, the United States, Australia, Great Britain, and the United Arab Emirates. However, there is a definite need for increased research and publication of such “best practice” initiatives. There is also a need for Canadian health professional schools to facilitate this process by sharing their experiences and resources if possible. An extensive literature review was conducted between January and March 2004. (Click on the above link to read the full abstract.)

Delva D, Tomalty L, Macrae K, Payne P, Plain E, Rowe W. A new model for collaborative continuing professional development. J Interprof Care 2008;22 Suppl 1:91-100.
For collaborative patient-centered practice models to develop, improved collaboration in the workplace is needed. In this project we aimed to create a model of continuing professional development (CPD) using a case based approach that would allow the exchange of information between primary health care providers in the community. Over 60 participants from community care sectors including physicians, nurses and administrators participated in a planning group and two consultation workshops. Using participatory action research methods, themes contributing to and inhibiting communication, collaboration and coordination of care in the community were identified. Recommendations for solutions were prioritized and implemented. Evaluations suggest that the case scenario and consultation approach successfully focused participants to address relevant local issues to improve collaboration among community providers.
Link to this issue

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