Physician executives at academic health centers are excited about a key recommendation in a July 17 report by the Institute of Medicine calling for a variety of basic changes at AHCs.
The report says the centers should invest more in information technology and increase emphasis on research into clinical work, health services and prevention.
The report also says AHCs should create teams of physicians and other healthcare professionals during training. "The unique contributions of AHCs in coming decades will lie in their ability to integrate their education, research, and care roles across all health science disciplines," the 160-page report says.
The Association of Academic Health Centers reports that 80 of its 105 member institutions already have designated a person for "multi-professional education."
"We need to change the culture of healthcare professionals," says Frank Cerra, M.D., senior vice president for health sciences at University of Minnesota Academic Health Center in Minneapolis, which had multidisciplinary teams organized prior to the IOM recommendation.
"This is a way of getting professionals to listen to each other and understand what the core strengths of each profession are," he says.