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Interprofessional Collaboration and Education

Interprofessional Collaboration

Southlake is committed to creating an environment where the best experiences happen. Interprofessional care is needed to create the conditions required to support great experiences for patients, staff, volunteers and learners.

Interprofessional care is “the provision of comprehensive health services to patients by multiple health givers, who work collaboratively to deliver quality care within and across settings.” [A Blue Print for Action in Ontario 2020]

The advantages of interprofessional care include:

  • Greater focus on patient/family-centred care
  • Improved patient safety and quality
  • Improved patient and staff satisfaction
  • Ability to provide a better range of health services
  • Reduced staff burnout
  • Better use of resources

Interprofessional Education

Interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when learners from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve outcomes. [World Health Organization, 2010]

At Southlake, there are many opportunities for interprofessional learning to occur, both formal and informal. Students and other types of learners who receive training at Southlake are encouraged to seek, ask, observe and reflect how team members come together to provide the best care possible to patients with skills like communication, collaboration, problem-solving and shared decision-making.

We believe creating a culture of interprofessional care is imperative to achieving Leading Edge Care. By Your Side.


Launched in the summer of 2011, the student Role Observation Experience (ROE) initiative was created to:

  • give learners an opportunity to better understand the roles of different healthcare providers in a variety of practice settings.
  • assist in creating an understanding of the elements needed to create and enable interprofessional care.

“It is important to recognize that in healthcare it is the combined effort of all members that really impacts the care that a client can receive. “I think that the ROE program is extremely important as it promotes  a greater respect and understanding for the unique roles that exist within the healthcare setting and how they fit together. I would encourage all students to take part in this program.”
– York University student

“I think that the ROE is extremely important as it promotes interprofessional collaboration, and a greater respect for the unique roles that exist within the healthcare setting. I would encourage all students to take part in this program and I would once again like to thank-you for helping make this experience possible.”
– Georgian College student

If you are interested in participating in an ROE please discuss the opportunity with your preceptor or clinical instructor.

After receiving permission from your preceptor/faculty leader to engage in a ROE, please contact the Observation Lead from your area of observation interest to arrange a date and time for the ROE. Click here to see the list of leads and their contact information.

Once you have the observation date arranged, please register online for an ROE debrief session. The debrief sessions are a great opportunity for our learners to share their experience of the ROE with each other. We have found that this is actually the most beneficial aspect of the ROE. The reflective assignments are discussed during the debrief sessions.

If you have any questions about this initiative or about Interprofessional Care at Southlake, please contact Lorna Bain (ext. 2274 or lbain@southlakeregional.org) and Sandra Parsons (ext. 2435 or sparsons@southlakeregional.org).

What is a ROE?

The ROE is a formal opportunity for learners to:

  • learn about the roles of others on healthcare teams.
  • recognize how stereotypes can impact patient care.
  • apply learnings about interprofessional care.

Who is eligible to participate in the ROE?

Learners are eligible to participate in the ROE if they:

  • have a clinical placement at Southlake for 3 weeks or greater, and,
  • have the approval of a preceptor or clinical instructor.

What does the ROE consist of?
There are 3 parts to the ROE:

  • A role observation
  • short reflective assignment
  • A Debrief Session (a small group discussion with other learners to talk about the observation, the reflective assignment and interprofessional collaboration).
  • The reflective assignment provides an opportunity to consider and appreciate what was observed. It is not handed in; rather it is meant to promote reflection and discussion to challenge thoughts on stereotypes and misconceptions which are often seen on healthcare teams on the roles of others.

How do I arrange for and get the most out of my ROE?

  • Email the ROE contact person to arrange an ROE.
  • Sign up for a Debrief Session when you confirm your ROE date.
  • Find out the length of the observation opportunity, who is leading it and where to meet.
  • Any special instructions, e.g. clothing.
  • Review the reflective assignment prior to your observation.
  • Consider reading up on the role you are to observe in order to understand the role and the training required, environments in which they work and what they do.
  • Make sure to mark the date in your calendar so you don’t forget.
  • Be on time for your observation and get directions to where you must go.
  • Be respectful and courteous to the fact that patient treatment is occurring.
  • Be sure to complete your assignment and bring it to the debrief session.
  • Don’t forget to share your ROE with your preceptor, the rest of the clinical team and your fellow students.
  • Have fun!

Southlake is committed to creating an environment where the best experiences happen. At Southlake, there are many formal and informal ways to learn about interprofessional care.

Interprofessional team interactions happen all the time in clinical team settings. Creating an awareness of interprofessional elements such as effective communication, shared decision-making, respect, trust and collaborative leadership is important in order to create safe, high quality patient care opportunities. Self reflection is a great tool to help us appreciate what we’ve observed in a clinical interaction. It is important  to pause and consider how these elements are being expressed in teams. Are they being optimized to create and sustain excellent practices? Is there opportunity to consider team growth?

In clinical placements, there is opportunity for both professional and interprofessional skill development. Both should be leveraged to assist students in maximizing their learning capacity. Interprofessional interactions can be defined as the involvement of two or more team members in different roles, and at Southlake there are many opportunities for students to observe and participate in interprofessional activity. We encourage learners to take advantage of situations and activities where they can observe excellence in interprofessional care. Examples of these types of opportunities may include, but are not limited to:

  • day to day client care/family interactions
  • family meetings
  • interprofessional bedside rounds
  • bullet rounds
  • huddles
  • team quality initiatives
  • team/clinical service team meetings
  • team educational sessions
  • hospital interprofessional rounds
  • special programs eg. Low Back Pain Module, Osteoporosis Module

We hope you will take advantage of interprofessional learning opportunities to make the most of your placement at Southlake.


Frequently Asked Questions

The ROE is a formal opportunity for learners to:

  • Learn about the roles of others on healthcare teams.
  • Recognize how stereotypes can impact patient care.
  • Apply learnings about interprofessional care.