The Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary health services (BS-IHS) was the first interdisciplinary undergraduate program established at Western Michigan University. It was developed in 2001 in response to research identifying the need to educate students in the interdisciplinary competencies required of future health and human services workers.The Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary health services anchors students in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) service delivery skills, giving them the advantage of early skills development either before entering graduate based disciplines or in conjunction with a bachelor's degree level discipline. The Institute of Medicine (2004) has identified "service delivery" skills that are at the center of patient safety, health care efficiency and cost effectiveness. These skills (delivering patient and family centered services, quality improvement, evidence-based practice, health literacy, health informatics, and interdisciplinary team skills) must be used by everyone in 21st century healthcare.
Designed for three populations
- For students interested in health and human services graduate programs, interdisciplinary health services is excellent preparation. Advisors will help custom build programs to prepare for graduate work. The occupational therapy and physician assistant programs have clearly defined preparatory paths.
- For those already working in health care who are interested in upgrading their knowledge and abilities with a bachelor's degree, the interdisciplinary focus of the Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary health services is also a great fit. Previous education in allied health fields may count for credit toward the pre-professional sequence or the professional core within the degree.
- For students who want to prepare for administrative and other non-clinical positions, the curriculum will introduce the intricacies of today's health care and provide cutting edge skills that are in demand for entry- or mid-level careers in various settings.