Jonas Center Spotlight


Jonas Center participates in Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education (IHPE) Workshop on “Improving Health Professional Education and Practice through Technology” (Washington DC., Nov. 15 -17, 2017)

Jonas Center Executive Director, Darlene Curley, R.N., M.S., FAAN and Scholar from Rutgers University School of Nursing, Emilia Iwu PhD, RN, APNC participated in the National Academies’ “Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education” workshop in Washington DC. Members of this forum are national and global policy, education and practice stakeholders who examine core issues influencing health professional practice and education. The workshop titled “Improving Health Professional Education and Practice through Technology” was intended to: highlight technology as a tool for bridging gaps in education and practice; and ensure that current and future health professionals or consumers are adequately educated about responsible use and possible unintended consequences of technology in healthcare.

Members spent the first day discussing probable conceivable forum activities for 2018, some of which include: public health training and trauma prevention education; the Academies’ role in crossing sector divide to improve the global health workforce; and the role of health professional education in pain management and the opioid epidemic. Updates were presented on continuing interest group activities of the forum. The day ended with a review of progress reports from impact surveys of previous consensus reports from the forum. Two exemplar reports: the “Framework for Educating Health Professionals to address the Social Determinants of Health” and “Impact of Interprofessional Education (IPE) on Collaborative Practice and Patient Outcomes” were discussed in detail.

The workshop on technology which was open to the public was attended by both live and online audiences from November 16 -17. Dr. Pamela Jeffries, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, ANEF (Dean and Professor at George Washington University School of Nursing), who chaired the workshop reminded attendees that “clinicians and faculty need to understand potential ethical conflicts, risks, and liabilities which could arise when using technological platforms for education and communication. One of such risks include widening gaps between those with and without access to computers, internet or reliable source of electricity when attempting to increase the pipeline of eligible candidates for entrance into the health professions”. The workshop involved live and remote presentations, discussions, rapid fire innovators’ illustrations and hands-on practice sessions. The morning sessions focused on: use of social media for health professional learning, transition to practice and collaboration in rural, under-served settings; how to identify platforms with outdated models; and current state of research in digital learning which displayed present landscape, proliferation and usage of technology in healthcare. There were discussions about technology enabled teaching and learning and customer-driven health workforce development using technology. Participants and innovators engaged in interchanges about ways to use technology in solving current health problems. The second day concluded with a Silicon Valley perspective on the “two sides to technology” which illuminated global innovations addressing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which concluded with a call for conscious efforts to educate students and clinicians about responsible use, ethical considerations and unintended consequences of technology. In some of the pictures below, attendees engaged with innovators and practiced with ePlatforms, clinical simulation and other teaching tools show-cased during the workshop.

The 3rd day started with reflections on previous day’s activities. Dr. Paul Worley of Flinders University in South Australia joined by video to discuss technology enabled bridge from education to practice, a case study from Centers for Remote Clinical Health, Australia. This model was found to facilitated application of theoretical knowledge plus imbibed reflective practice among the practitioners. The session on “Innovations in eCare Delivery” emphasized the concept of “connected care” and discussed the types of tools that foster connectedness e.g. wearable units, virtual visits, in-home self-monitors that connect to providers for clinical decision making etc.

Looking ahead, the speakers challenged forum members to proactively seek avenues to ensure that the convergence of healthcare innovations, the new knowledge, skills, competencies and quantifiable health data, will translate to better healthcare. The workshop concluded with National Institute of Health presentations on applications of research in the virtual space to practice environment which examined: provider attitudes to obese patients; parental guilt in childhood obesity with educational intervention for healthy food choices; virtual reality for motor learning; and virtual emergency preparedness education. The workshop ended with several take-away points from the participants. Dr. Malcolm Cox, M.D. (Co-Chair of the forum), reminded members and innovators to find innovative ways to measure caring and empathy among students and clinicians. 

(Video recording of the workshop will be available on IHPE Forum Website:

Blog Written By: Dr. Emilia Iwu PhD, RN, APNC, FWACN; Assistant Professor, Rutgers University School of Nursing; Jonas Scholar & Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow.

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