RIC partners with institutions in 3 states to build better health care teams

RIC’s Schools of Nursing and Social Work have partnered with institutions in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire to work on a three-year project that targets inter-professional teamwork among health care professionals.

Funded by Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), this project is tested locally and, if successful, shared nationally.

Jane Williams, dean of RIC’s School of Nursing, explained the importance of teamwork in health care:

“Nurses are part of a health care team, which includes physicians, social workers, pharmacists and physical therapists. If we can educate future health professionals to work well together as a team, we can improve the quality of care. Being part of an effective health care team will also improve nurse retention and satisfaction."

PIN, which is led by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Northwest Health Foundation, is a multimillion-dollar investment in America’s nursing workforce and supports local foundations that advance the nursing profession in their communities. The lead foundation for this grant is Tufts Health Foundation.

Along with RIC’s nursing and social work schools, the three-state collaboration in this project consists of the following:

In Rhode Island: the Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School, the University of Rhode Island College of Nursing and College of Pharmacy, the Edward J. Virginia M. Routhier Foundation of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Center for Nursing Excellence.

In Massachusetts: the University of Massachusetts at Worcester Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Worcester Graduate School of Nursing, the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and the Massachusetts Area Health Education Center.

In New Hampshire: Dartmouth College Medical School, Colby-Sawyer College Department of Nursing, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the New Hampshire Area Health Education Center.

The project is built on the recommendations of the recent Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” which focuses on the fact that patients receive safer, higher quality care when health professionals work in inter-professional teams, communicate effectively and clearly understand each other’s roles.

“This is a great opportunity for RIC’s School of Nursing to make a difference in the quality of patient care in the region and in the nation,” Williams said.