26 August 2010

After four weeks of work, UQ’s top three interprofessional teams of health students will come together to compete as part of the annual University of Queensland HealthFusion Team Challenge (UQ HFTC).

The annual UQ HFTC will take place on Friday, August 27 at 4:30 pm in the auditorium at the UQ School of Pharmacy at Woolloongabba.

Designed to foster teamwork and collaboration among the professions, the HFTC brings students from a wide range of disciplines together to produce a management package for a patient with complex needs.

Each team of five students is required to respond to an online case study based on a real-life scenario, which demands both acute and long-term problem solving strategies.

This year the case study focuses on a young man with a serious and chronic medical condition, prescription drug dependency and social problems.

Project Director Dr Monica Moran said knowing how to work effectively in a team setting ensured graduates could provide the best possible care to patients.

“All the cases we use are chosen to demonstrate how multifaceted the needs of clients can be,” Dr Moran said.

“The students are expected to respect and honour the goals of the client and demonstrate ethical practice.”

This year’s UQ HFTC will have representatives from Audiology, Dentistry, Dietetics, Exercise Physiology, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Psychology, and Speech Pathology.

“It is important to include a range of student health professionals, giving them the opportunity to gain valuable skills in teamwork, communication and a deeper understanding of one another’s roles, so they can provide the highest standard of care to future clients,” Dr Moran said.

This year the case was released in two stages to stimulate a real-life workplace situation, where they may not have full information at the beginning of treatment.

The top three teams will compete live on stage at the UQ HFTC public event where they will be asked to present their plan and answer a series of challenging extension questions.

Students, academics, industry professionals, practitioners and politicians will attend the HFTC.
Following the competition, students will have the opportunity to talk to professional mentors about their progress on developing case management plans.

“We encourage students to interact with the professionals and other students at the event and get to know about professions other than their own,” Dr Moran said.

The idea for the challenge is derived from an event pioneered more than 20 years ago at the University of British Columbia.

“We owe a lot to our partners at UBC, not only for the original concept but also for their ongoing support for the project as we continue to evolve and grow,” Dr Moran said.

In 2009, the HFTC Project Team launched the National Oz HFTC for the first time.

This year the national competition will be held on September 17 and interest has grown from six teams to 11, representing universities from around Australia.

The winning team from the UQ Health Fusion Team Challenge will go on to represent UQ at the national event.

For more information visit the HealthFusion website at www.healthfusionteamchallenge.com

Media: Dr Monica Moran (m.moran@uq.edu.au) or Allison Rock at UQ Communications (Allison.rock@uqconnect.edu.au or 07 3365 2619)