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MUSC's QEP focus: Team Up for Better Health

Cindy Abole | | March 6, 2017

Second year student participate as a group during IP Day
Photos by Anne Thompson
Second-year students role play as an interprofessional health team to deliver news to a patient’s family member as part of the Jan. 20 Interprofessional Day activity.

On MUSC’s campus, students seem more engaged than ever in working together as a team.

For more than a decade, MUSC’s mission has focused on improving student learning experiences and outcomes through interprofessional education (IPE). The institution is committed to preparing the next generation of collaboratively trained health care professionals.

Two students participate in the IP health sim game. 

Shatericka Campbell, right, works with a fellow student as they complete the IP health simulation game activity.


This effort is a requirement for MUSC’s reaffirmation of accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The development and implementation of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) delivers an institutional strategy that provides a significant effect on student learning, said Jeff Borckardt, Ph.D., assistant provost, director of MUSC’s Office of Interprofessional Initiatives and leader of MUSC’s QEP process.

In 2015, Borckardt and Suzanne Thomas, Ph.D., Office of Institutional Effectiveness director and SACSCOC liaison officer, worked collaboratively to create a scientific methodology and develop an effective QEP that ultimately would be titled “Team Up for Better Health.”

The QEP is a key component of the 2017 SACSCOC reaffirmation and addresses a need to prepare an integrated and trained health care workforce. In addition to graduating all MUSC students with practice-relevant teamwork skills and experiences and improving the supportive learning environment that parallels their work in clinics, labs and the communities, the QEP is aligned with the institution’s strategic plan Imagine MUSC 2020.

In the steps required to identify the institution’s QEP, Borckardt, Thomas and the QEP team, comprised of both faculty and students, looked to the past. They knew they wanted to build on the successes of the previous QEP, which was known as Creating Collaborative Care (or the C3 plan). To establish the current QEP, they focused on efforts that would develop, foster and evaluate students working in both clinical and research settings, as well as overall IPE. At the same time, they wanted to match their findings with results from a 2015 Institute of Medicine report that called for the evaluation of the impact of IPE in patient outcomes.

Their results focused on four areas: evaluating how IPE aligns education and the health care delivery systems; developing a conceptual framework for measuring the impact of IPE; strengthening evidence-based learning for IPE; and linking it with collaborative behavior.

To begin, the team met with faculty and student groups to discuss the upcoming SACSCOC reaffirmation and gathered suggestions and ideas about the QEP. Their responses were tabulated and categorized into 15 topics. The most popular suggestions fell under the category of “teamwork and interprofessionalism in practice,” yielding a 53 percent response.

“The majority of respondents indicated that focusing our student learning objectives on the development of applied interprofessional teamwork skills would make for an outstanding next QEP at MUSC,” said Borckardt.

Borckardt and his team worked to build on strategies and initiatives within established programs like the campuswide interprofessional course IP710 and a new course rollout; the TeamSTEPPS evaluation tools; Interprofessional Education Collaborative; and also through the 2017 Interprofessional Day activities.

Borckardt, under the Office of Interprofessional Initiatives, established a webpage to explain the QEP process, create a timeline to show progress, show measurements and data, list committees and participants and be a resource for the MUSC community.

Last May, Borckardt and his team were visited by a member of the SACSCOC to evaluate MUSC’s QEP progress. “This visit re-emphasized how other institutions were already moving in the interprofessional direction and that interprofessional teamwork is the future of health care,” said Borckardt. “He confirmed that what MUSC’s is doing with interprofessional training is meaningful and that we’re doing it well.”

For the Jan. 20 MUSC Interprofessional Day, student activities followed a trajectory focused on education, teamwork and the acquisition of teamwork skills and experiences, according to Borckardt. More than 1,100 first- and second-year students from all six colleges participated in this training.

First year students work together to build a simulated health care system 
First-year students work together to build a simulated health care system, hire staff and manage patients while evaluating patient safety and outcomes with the MUSC IP Health Sims game. 

Marvel Brown, a second-year student in the College of Medicine, participated in several learning activities with fellow interprofessional students. In one exercise, students practiced disclosing a medical error as an interprofessional team to a role-play family member. Student participants practiced error and plan disclosure in their health care roles.

“It was really amazing,” said Brown. “A lot of the colleges seem siloed. But we came together for IP Day and got to interact with each other both individually and as a team to handle a task and share and discuss ideas. I think it’s important that we respect and support each other as we work together.”

Just prior to the campus’ QEP kickoff and IP Day on Jan. 20, the QEP team coordinated an IP Day video contest where students were invited to work in interprofessional teams to create a short video promoting the Team Up for Better Health QEP theme. Several student groups scripted and filmed their own videos, borrowing portable video equipment from the MUSC Libraries.

Two teams were selected as winners and awards were presented for their efforts.

Students and faculty also have a number of important and innovative QEP tools and strategies at their disposal. The Applied Teamwork Competency Portfolio System is a personalized catalog system for students, faculty and staff that aids in documenting teamwork experiences. Additionally, efforts made over the next five to 10 years, as well as education resources such as TeamSTEPPS, will be catalogued in the MyQuest learning system. Another valuable resource is SCTR’s Science of Team Small Grants Program, which offers grants to students and faculty who submit research ideas and innovative work that demonstrate the value of teamwork in research and health care. Other highlighted projects include several other interprofessional development programs for faculty and staff, an MUSC Team Science course and an IP teamwork simulation game (SimuVersity Medical Center – an activity offered to students during IP Day).

“MUSC is an institution capable of implementing our QEP through our five-year strategic plan – Imagine MUSC 2020,” said Borckardt. “Our vision is ‘Leading innovation for the lives that we touch’ and our purpose is to ‘preserve and optimize life in South Carolina and beyond.’ What we’ve done is demonstrate how our QEP Team Up for Better Health and the Imagine MUSC 2020 campaign dovetail nicely and follow the institution’s main value of collaboration. What the QEP accomplishes is meeting the strategies of Innovative Learning and Scientific Discoveries in our strategic plan by fostering education through teaching, learning and professionalism.”

For more information about MUSC’s QEP, visit

MUSC IP Day 2017 Video Winners
As part of the roll out for MUSC’s SACSCOC Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) during Interprofessional Day on Jan. 20, a student video contest was organized to reflect on the theme, Team Up for Better Health. Watch the winning videos.

First place winners of $1,000 ($250 each) – Allison Blackburn (CHP-OT), Shannon Blair (Medicine), Courtney King (Graduate Studies) and Madison Smith (CHP- OT) 

Second place winners of $200 Amazon gift card ($100 each) – Alex Novgorodov (Pharmacy) and Andrea Anderson (Graduate Studies)

MUSC IP 2017 Teamwork Simulation Game Student Winners

Highest Patient Satisfaction and Best Clinical Outcomes (Dr. Jillian Harvey, facilitator)
Molly Fitch (Health Professions), Charles Nation (Medicine), Alexandra Denton (Pharmacy)

Best Patient Safety (Dr. Patricia McBurney, facilitator)
David Riggs (Dental Medicine), Caitlin Guthrie (Health Professions), Whitney Pasquini (Nursing)

Highest Research Productivity (Dr. Rogers Kyle, facilitator)
Samuel Ramey (Dental Medicine), Brandi Gianni (Health Professions), Nicolette Jacinto (Nursing)

Most Profitable and Overall Best Quality (Matt Wain, facilitator)
Minhanh Pham (Health Professions), Lauren Shuey (Medicine), Aaron Young (Pharmacy)



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