Rush Receives Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education

Friday, July 29, 2016

Rush University has received interprofessional Joint Accreditation status for continuing education from the governing bodies for continuing medical, nursing and pharmacy education. Rush was granted a four-year term following a review of its continuing education initiatives.

Rush is the first academic medical center in Illinois, and one of only eight in the nation, to have this accreditation status.

After an extensive review, the Joint Accreditation representatives commended Rush for a “commitment to lifelong learning” of the entire health care team. Rush’s interprofessional continuing education efforts were examined by representatives of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Accreditation Program. Rush’s Office of Interprofessional Continuing Education oversaw the 18-month application process.

Rush’s Joint Accreditation status coincides with a larger institutional commitment to interprofessionalism, which includes a new pilot course for new students for the 2016-17 academic year.

“This fall we’re formally launching the Interprofessional Patient-Centered Teams education program for students in all of the colleges,” said Thomas A. Deutsch, MD, provost of Rush University. “Joint Accreditation specifically recognizes that your continuing education programming is also aimed at the whole team. That’s how we’re committed to practicing and teaching at Rush – as truly collaborative, interprofessional teams.”

Joint Accreditation status is dependent on the institution’s continuing education efforts meeting a strict set of educational and administrative criteria. Primarily, the institution must demonstrate that at least 25 percent of its continuing education programming is interprofessional.

“That’s where a lot of CE departments find they can’t make the grade,” said Mary Grantner, director of Rush’s Office of Interprofessional Continuing Education. “You have to show that professions actually contribute to one another’s continuing education and not that you just have a lot of pharmacists sitting in on nurses’ lectures. You have to show that they collaborate and interact as both teachers and learners.”

Rush will continue to offer profession-specific continuing education.

“Not everything is appropriate for interprofessional learning,” Deutsch said. “Some courses are and should be just for physicians or just for nurses. But as the way we practice changes, then the way we learn will change, too. You’re going to keep seeing the growth of interprofessional, multidisciplinary care, and so you’ll see more interprofessional education as well.”