The purpose of this study is to share the voices of healthcare graduate students participating in an interprofessional course experience, particularly as their voice relate to fundamental healthcare issues care embodied in the Triple Aims. Two research questions guided study efforts: (1) how do graduate students perceive the value of interprofessional learning experiences for their professional development as future healthcare providers? and (2) based on these experiences, how do students perceive the potential for interprofessional teams to address the Triple Aims of health care? This study was based on the qualitative approach of inductive thematic coding (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Findings indicated that course experiences led to favorable perspectives towards interprofessional practice, with students citing particular benefits regarding more effective and efficient patient service. Students also perceived that interprofessional healthcare would advance current practice regarding the first two triple aims (patient healthcare outcomes and patient satisfaction) due its focus on patient-centered care, improved provider communication, and better-informed treatment decisions. Regarding the third triple aim (reduced costs), students noted that healthcare cost savings were possible, but these must be viewed with a macro lens from a long-term perspective.


Interprofessional, Healthcare, Triple Aims, Student Voice, Healthcare Policy, Thematic Coding

Author Bio(s)

Gary Skolits serves as a tenured associated professor of Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement (ESM) at the University of Tennessee (Department of Educational Psychology), where he also serves as the Faculty Senate President. He recently completed 10 years of service as the executive director of the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Assessment and Evaluation where he directed over 150 external evaluation studies for community, state, regional, and national projects (bringing in over $4 million in external funding to the University). Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: gskolits@utk.edu.

Rachel Ladd is a doctoral student in the Evaluation, Statistics, & Measurement program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Rachel is an experienced program evaluator & research consultant. She enjoys working with non-profits and community-based organizations, particularly those that focus on suicide or other mental health concerns. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: rladd@vols.utk.edu.

Paul Kirkland is a mathematics teacher for Monroe County Schools in Tennessee. He earned a BS in Mathematics from Tennessee Wesleyan College and a MM in Mathematics from the University of Tennessee. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate in the Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement program at the University of Tennessee. His research interests include educational assessment and measurement, mathematics & statistics education, program evaluation, and team development. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: mkirkla5@utk.edu.

Dr Beebe has researched health promotion in community-dwelling persons with SSD for 19 years. She is currently leading a multidisciplinary faculty team to integrate primary care principles into didactic and clinical immersion for undergraduate BSN, pharmacy and nutrition students caring for diverse rural underserved persons. From 2013-2017, Dr Beebe led a multidisciplinary team in development/delivery of Interprofessional education (IPE) content for graduate students in psychiatric mental health nursing, pharmacy, nutrition and exercise physiology (HRSA project #D09HP25932-01-00). Her team's educational materials have influenced graduate psychiatric nursing education while preparing graduates to provide integrated, recovery focused, team-based care to persons with mental illness. Her team produced the first publications of IPE in graduate psychiatric mental health nursing. This body of work informs psychiatric nursing practice and shapes nursing education nationally and internationally. Her work is documented in numerous publications as well as national and international presentations. A RIDE overview along with instructional videos for students and faculty are located at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRcIPFK5MALVgGON81xbPh5eY10mQP8e3

Marian Roman is an Emeritus Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Knoxville She has been honored for her work in aiding people with mental illness in the Knoxville community. She is also the recipient of the 2013 Award for Innovation from the American Psychiatric Nursing Association (APNA).

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