Covering the Healthcare Education Spectrum

Whether training healthcare professionals to adapt to a new delivery landscape or teaching patients to take a more active role in their own health, educational initiatives by a trio of national organizations aim to improve outcomes by enhancing input.

By mandate and practical necessity, healthcare professionals are lifelong learners. Whether at the starting point of undergraduate or graduate education or further along in careers and looking to hone skills, a wide array of resources exist to help providers be better prepared to deliver effective, efficient care.

A number of national organizations are looking ahead to assess the way professional teams will need to interact within the delivery system of the future to dispense the highest quality of care, along with ways to help communities and patients take a more interactive role in managing their health.


AMA Expanding Med Ed Initiative

Less than two years after the American Medical Association (AMA) launched an initiative to reshape medical education in America, the national organization has announced funding for up to 20 additional medical schools to join the AMA’s Accelerating Change in the Medical Education Consortium.

The consortium was originally created in 2013 with an $11 million grant initiative to 11 of the country’s top medical schools. Each of the participants is looking at innovating curriculum redesign to better prepare medical students to deliver care in today’s evolving healthcare landscape.

At the Indiana University School of Medicine, leaders have created a virtual healthcare system (vHS) and are using a teaching electronic medic record to ensure competencies in system-, team- and population-based healthcare, as well as clinical decision-making. At Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the new curriculum looks to create master adaptive learners who will engage in self-assessment and adapt to change throughout their medical career. The Vanderbilt program is also embedding students in the healthcare workplace from the earliest phases of undergraduate medical education. A synopsis of all 11 current programs is available

“In such a short amount of time, our consortium schools have made impressive strides toward creating the medical school of the future. Many of the schools have already implemented new curriculum models that are supporting innovative training for 7,000 medical students who will one day care for more than 12.2 million patients each year,” said AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD.

He continued, “It is because of this tremendous progress that we’ve decided to collaborate with more medical schools and continue on the path to spreading innovation across the entire medical education system to close the gaps that exist between the way physicians are educated and how healthcare will be delivered in the future.”

As part of this second phase of the Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative, the AMA is calling on medical schools to build upon and implement the education models created by the 11 founding consortium schools, as well as offer unique projects that can be shared with medical schools nationwide. A national advisory panel is currently reviewing grant proposals, which were due last month. Proposals are being evaluated with an eye toward:

  • Developing flexible, competency-based pathways,
  • Teaching and/or assessing new content in healthcare delivery science,
  • Working with healthcare delivery systems in novel ways,
  • Making technology work to support learning and assessment,
  • Envisioning the master adaptive learner, and
  • Shaping tomorrow’s leaders.

“Bringing systemic change to our medical education system as we know it will require many more partners and many more schools,” said AMA Group Vice President for Medical Education Susan E. Skochelak, MD, MPH. “We are excited about the high level of interest that we’re seeing from medical schools for changing and enhancing medical education in our country and look forward to growing the community of innovation that we’ve created with new ideas and fresh perspectives from additional medical schools.”


AACN Futures Task Force

Last year, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing established the Futures Task Force with a broad charge to develop recommendations to ensure the nursing workforce meets future demands, and that the national organization stays at the forefront of innovation in nursing education.

The final report will be presented at the AACN’s fall meeting on Monday, Oct. 26. For information on the findings, visit the organization’s website at



The Health Care Education Association (HCEA) – a multi-disciplinary organization of professional healthcare educators who look to improve outcomes through evidence-based education for patients, families, staff and the community – is prepping for the organization’s 2015 conference Oct. 15-17 in Indianapolis.

“Education on the Fast Track: Transforming the Patient Experience” will focus on patient engagement and the ways in which educators and healthcare workers impact the healthcare experience. Among the 21 breakout sessions at the biannual meeting are discussions on generational diversity and teaching adolescents how to evaluate health information, explaining numbers and risk with patients, working with the LGBT community, and several sessions emphasizing health literacy strategies.

A conference roundup will be posted after the event, and past educational conference summaries are available online through the Education Center tab In addition, the website’s Resources tab includes links to publications, educational tools, and the organization’s Learning Center Network.

By Cindy Sanders

Source: Arkansas Medical News –