Health professional students at the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center have founded CLARION, an organization dedicated to improving health care through interprofessional collaboration. Medical, nursing, pharmacy, and health administration students meet together during “free time” to better understand the skills that each member of the team brings to the care of patients.
For their capstone experience, interprofessional student teams analyze a hypothetical case scenario that highlights less than optimal care and then propose system changes to prevent future events. Through this process, students discover how the team, as a whole, can contribute to improvement in ways that are superior to those of students working individually.
The local case competitions expanded to a national interprofessional team case competition in April 2005. Competition winners received funds to attend IHI's annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care conference in December.
CLARION students actively work with faculty from all of the represented health professions who serve as faculty advisors and write the sentinel event case for the competition. CLARION students and faculty are part of a new wave in health care education, promoting the importance of leadership, teamwork, and communications skills.