An interprofessional education and collaborative practice model for dentistry and pharmacy

Grishondra Branch-Mays, Amy L Pittenger, Kristyn Williamson, Anna Milone, Emily Hein, Todd E Thierer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The aims of this study were to evaluate the feasibility of an interprofessional education and collaborative practice model (IECPM) developed by the School of Dentistry (SOD) and College of Pharmacy (COP) for the University of Minnesota dental clinics and to report results of the needs assessment using specific primary care metrics and medication histories gathered through use of the model in 2015-16. Planning focused on establishing a workflow to implement the IECPM by the SOD and COP. The interprofessional team that provided patient care for the study consisted of 50 dental students, ten dental therapy students, one pharmacy student, one pharmacy resident, one faculty pharmacist, one dental assistant, one faculty dental hygienist, and two dentists. The team selected 190 patients in the SOD clinic for the study based on the inclusion criteria: patients with two or more chronic medical conditions who were taking medications. The 190 patients received a comprehensive dental exam, review of social and medical history, and medication therapy management assessment by the interprofessional team. Specific core primary care metrics (blood pressure, pulse, tobacco use, and diabetes status) and identification of drug therapy problems (DTPs) were monitored and/or screened for during the dental visit. The results showed that the IECPM helped identify that this cohort of patients presented with chronic conditions: 64% had hypertension, 34% had diabetes, and 10.5% reported smoking cigarettes. Several DTPs were identified, of which “needs additional drug therapy” was the most common. This cohort was taking multiple medications (2-34 per patient) to address a variety of medical conditions. The study concluded that the IECPM with the SOD and COP helped address a primary care need that often goes unmet in dental clinics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1413-1420
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was deemed exempt from oversight by the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board (1602E84702). This project was a feasibility study to design an IECPM partnership between the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry (SOD) and College of Pharmacy (COP) while conducting a needs assessment. The planning for the project commenced with three faculty members (associate dean for clinical affairs at the SOD and the directors of interprofessional education for the SOD and COP), who designed and implemented the clinic model. Subsequently, the three principal investigators submitted the project for vetting and approval to the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education as a Nexus Innovator Network (NIN) site. The NIN is a national effort to standardize interprofessional practice and education research in clinical settings and to systematically evaluate the impact of health professions collaboration on patient outcomes. The project was approved as an NIN site.


  • Collaborative practice
  • Dental education
  • Dentistry
  • Interprofessional education
  • Interprofessional practice
  • Medication history
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacy education


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