Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
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Integrated Primary Care Professionals Can Direct Future of Health Care

Integrated Primary Care SIG Outlook Liaison Kristine M. Diaz, PsyD
Integrated Primary Care SIG Outlook Liaison Stacy Ogbeide, PsyD
Integrated Primary Care SIG Outlook Liaison Danielle Arigo, PhD

The Integrated Primary Care Special Interest Group (IPC SIG) is committed to the promotion and enhancement of the delivery of evidence-based behavioral health care in primary care settings. In this update on IPC SIG news, we will focus on interprofessionalism in integrated primary care, which is likely to be of value to all Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) members.

National medical regulatory bodies have called for the preparation of health care professionals to function collaboratively on health care teams that include health professionals from various disciplines. Interprofessional education (IPE) provides learner-centered education and clinical simulation to health care professionals in the development of these team-based skills. At the same time, the Affordable Care Act’s aim to reduce patient costs by improving patient outcomes and reducing hospitalization rates has led health care professionals to embrace collaborative teamwork across various health professions. The primary care physician workforce shortage has also led various health care professions to work collectively to address patient care. This movement toward interdisciplinary health care teams provides integrated primary care professionals an opportunity to highlight our expertise and strength in interprofessional collaborative practice in order to serve as leaders in the future of health care.

For many patients, integrated primary care providers serve as the "primary health care provider" and/or offer an invaluable liaison for coordinating care with other health care specialists. The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model has further reinforced the interdisciplinary team-based approach in patient care in integrated primary care. In fact, patient-centered care and an interdisciplinary team-based approach have actually been encouraged nationwide for more than 40 years. The Institute of Medicine’s first conference, Interrelationships of Educational Programs for Health Professionals(1970), and related-report, Educating for the Health Team (1972), promoted collaborative, team-based education and practice as an efficient model for improving health outcomes, patient care, and patient safety while also decreasing health care costs. Additionally, the World Health Organization released the Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (2010) to address the global shortage of the health care workforce in primary care.

With our expertise and clinical experience, integrated primary care health care professionals can identify themselves as leaders in interdisciplinary team-based health care through the publication of their work in MedEdPORTAL and through presentations at conferences in their health specialty area. The attendance of conferences and events held by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative, National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, and Collaborative Family Healthcare Association may assist with the advancement of interdisciplinary collaborative practice in one’s clinic setting as well as identify strategies to conduct research in IPE. Please consider submitting your scholarly activity in interprofessionalism in integrated primary care as a rapid communication poster submission for SBM’s 2015 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX. Rapid communication poster submissions open Thursday, November 13, 2014.

Please email IPC SIG Co-Chairs Mark E. Vogel, PhD, and James E. Aikens, PhD, if you are interested in joining the IPC SIG.