Interprofessional Practice and Interprofessional Care

Interprofessional Practice (IPP)

Interprofessional Practice (IPP) is a collaborative practice which occurs when healthcare providers work with people from within their own profession, with people outside their profession and with patients and their families.1 The Canadian Institute Health Collaborative (CIHC) outlines the following benefits of collaborative practice:

  • Using appropriate language when speaking to other healthcare providers or patients/families
  • Understanding that all healthcare providers contribute to the team or collaborative unit
  • Showing respect and building trust among team members
  • Introducing new members of the team in a way that is welcoming and gives them the information they need in order to be a contributing member
  • Turning to colleagues for answers
  • Supporting each other when mistakes are made, and celebrating together when success is achieved.2

When healthcare providers work collaboratively, they seek common goals and are able to analyze and address any problems that arise.2 They make better use of their skills and knowledge and they are able to more effectively coordinate care according to patients’ needs. As a result, patients should receive higher quality care.2  In addition to enhancing quality care, collaborative practice contributes to job satisfaction for the healthcare provider.3

Interprofessional Care (IPC)

Interprofessional Care (IPC) is “the provision of comprehensive health services to patients by multiple caregivers who work collaboratively to deliver quality care within and across settings”.4  An interprofessional care environment may offer multiple benefits including: “increased access to health care, improved outcomes for people with chronic diseases, less tension and conflict among caregivers, better use of clinical resources, easier recruitment of caregivers, and lower rates of staff turnover”.2

Interprofessional care requires partnership and collaboration from multiple partners across the healthcare and education systems, including frontline care providers, patients and families. For interprofessional care to be implemented successfully, everyone must work together to ensure that the processes and systems are in place to support an interprofessional care environment.4


1 Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative, February 2009 at www.cihc.ca/resources-files/CIHC_Factsheets_CP_Feb09.pdf
2 www.InterProfessionalalberta.ca/IPdefn
3 www.healthforceontario.ca/WhatIsHFO/FAQs/IPCProject.aspx#catagory01
4 HeatlhForceOntario. Interprofessional Care: A Blueprint for Action in Ontario. July 2007.

Interprofessional Practice Report