Description of the video:
As the addiction crisis ripped through the country, awareness of recognizing and addressing substance use disorder has begun to shift. However, current academic curriculum is not equipped to provide students with a collaborative, communicative approach to providing care.
Through the Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge, IU is training students entering Indiana’s frontline workforce to use a systems approach across professions to recognize and address opioid addiction and overdose through screening, prevention, treatment and harm reduction and effective pain management.
If successful, more than 1,400 health science, social work and education students and faculty will have been trained in opioid screening and to use a systems approach within and across professions and sectors.
Our goal is to train the next generation of social workers, teachers, doctors and researchers to work collaboratively to address the needs of their patients, therefore improving the lives of Hoosiers, and people throughout the country who are impacted by addiction.
Note: This story was written prior to Andrea Pfeifle leaving Indiana University. Laura Romito, a professor at the IU School of Dentistry is currently leading this project.
As new healthcare professionals enter the Indiana workforce, it is critical to ensure they are well-prepared to recognize and respond to addiction.
Doctors, nurses, dentists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, counselors, and others involved in the well-being of patients and families must not only be aware of the signs of addiction and best treatment practices within their fields, but also be able to work effectively with one another in addiction response teams.
Despite the addictions epidemic, however, addiction has not been designated as an essential topic of coursework or training for healthcare professionals. Through a project for IU's Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge, Andrea Pfeifle, associate dean for interprofessional health education and practice at the IU School of Medicine, is addressing this issue.
She and her team are bringing together leadership in IU's health-related schools to revise curricula and create standards for ensuring that IU graduates entering the healthcare workforce are ready to work together to help patients prevent and overcome addiction. The project, "Leveraging interprofessional education to improve training for future health professionals in pain management, alternatives to opioids and better prescribing practices," also models this team approach in a new pain management clinic providing effective alternatives to opioids through treatments and therapies tailored to each patient.
"Through this project, we are training Indiana’s future frontline workforce to address this crisis by working together to recognize and address addiction and overdose through screening, prevention, treatment and harm reduction, and effective pain management," Pfeifle said.
As a result, more than 1,400 health science, social work, and education students and faculty are being trained in opioid screening and to use a systems approach within and across professions and sectors.
Pfeifle's project focuses on teaching healthcare workers to use a "systems approach," which recognizes that patients and families interact with many different types of providers in a large and complex system of health care and social services. Managing multiple appointments in many separate offices can not only overwhelm patients but also potentially result in confusing or conflicting advice.
IU's Interprofessional Practice and Education Center is dedicated to making health care simpler and more comprehensive for Hoosiers by ensuring that students in different fields of the health sciences learn to work as unified teams. Pfeifle's Grand Challenge project leverages the Center's existing partner network, which includes all health-related IU programs across the state in addition to several healthcare providers and community organizations, to incorporate addiction-specific training into this team approach.
The Grand Challenge also supports hands-on experience for students, who participate in healthcare teams in IU’s newly reorganized pain-management clinic, recently renamed the Comprehensive Pain Assessment Clinic (CoPAC).
In contrast to the Clinic's earlier focus on medical care and managing opioid prescriptions, its new goal is to avoid the use of opioids whenever possible. Addressing not only pain symptoms but also their causes, the clinic brings together primary care physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and marriage and family counselors to collaboratively address the needs of each patient.
"Since opening in January, approximately 50 IU Bloomington, IUPUI, and IU School of Medicine students have assisted at the clinic each month, along with medical residents from these fields," Pfeifle said. "So far, both patients and providers are reporting high levels of satisfaction with the approach and its success in reducing pain."
Because this work and other Grand Challenge initiatives are establishing Indiana as a leader in addiction workforce preparedness, Pfeifle is also sharing the project’s lessons and insights with the Big 10 Academic Alliance and others at the national level to enable partners in other states to benefit from and contribute to Indiana’s addiction response.